Crowds of people gathered in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park over the weekend to attend the Isla Vista Peace Festival Concert on Saturday and the Forests Awareness Concert on Sunday.
The I.V. Peace Festival Concert – sponsored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the student group Solidarity Against War – was supposed to follow the I.V. Peace Festival teach-in on March 11, but was rained out and rescheduled. NAPF Youth Outreach Coordinator Will Parrish said the event was designed to increase the visibility of the peace movement at UCSB. Approximately 500 people attended the concert.
An estimated 100 people attended the Forests Awareness Concert on Sunday, which was sponsored by the CalPIRG and featured 35th District Assemblyman Pedro Nava. The concert was designed to increase student involvement in CalPIRG’s efforts to protect the Los Padres National Forest from oil drilling, Trevor Zinn, event coordinator, said.
The Peace Festival Concert, which ran from noon to 5 p.m., featured bands such as Bixby, Iration and Rebelution. Between bands, members of SAW and other students and local activists stood up and spoke about the peace movement in I.V. and at UCSB.
During the concert, first-year global studies major and newly elected Associated Students Off-Campus Representative Christy Escobar, spoke to the crowd about her recent visit to Spain. Escobar said she was in Spain during the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings of 2004, and said she watched as the county remembered the tragic events. She said the experience made her believe that the American government’s foreign policy affects what occurs in other countries as well as in America.
“I realize that what our government is doing has global effects,” Escobar said.
Groups such as Veterans for Peace, the International Convention on Human Rights and SAW all had booths set up at the concert to help publicize their work in the peace movement.
Sam Hammond, a senior aquatic biology major, said the concert had a different atmosphere than the usual concerts in I.V.
“This is almost better [than Earth Day]; people seem more relaxed and less hassling,” Hammond said. “This is just another party in I.V., and it’s just nice that it’s in the daytime.”
Like many other attendees, second-year global studies major Stephen Valentine said he came to the concert to enjoy the bands and the park.
“I’m still cool with peace though, I mean its great,” Valentine said. “It makes everyone happy.”
Parrish said he thinks separating the concert from the teach-in made it hard for many attendees to connect the musical performances to the peace movement. He said some people in the crowd did not have the respect for the speakers that he had hoped for.
“I’m a bit disappointed in the reaction of the crowd to some of the speakers,” Parrish said.
Parrish said he still thinks the concert, which ended with a man dancing around the crowd and showering it with freshly picked flowers as Rebelution played, helped publicize UCSB’s peace movement, even if some people did not associate the event with its message.
“I think we did accomplish that in that there were quite a few people at our teach-in who were inspired,” Parrish said. “I think we probably accomplished the same thing at the concert.”
Parrish said he wants the concert to become a regular tradition in I.V.
“I’d really like to see this become an annual event in I.V.,” Parrish said. “It all depends on whether the anti-war movement continues to grow at UCSB.”
Forests Awareness Concert event coordinator Trevor Zinn said the 12:30 p.m. Forests Awareness Concert was designed to alert students of the possibility of oil drilling in the Los Padres National Forest. The concert featured bands such as Rebelution, Wrong Again, Winslow and Natural Incense, as well as a speech from Nava.
Senior English major Jake Ford said that while yesterday’s forest festival attracted fewer people than the peace concert, he still enjoyed the event.
“[The Peace Fest] and Earth Day were better, I’m not gonna lie, but this is way more chill – we’re really just out here respecting,” Ford said.