Santa Barbara will play host to a three-day music and digital media festival this weekend featuring concerts, panel discussions and the world premiere of Jack Johnson’s new movie.
Beginning today, the New Noise Festival will bring a series of both well-known and local bands to downtown venues, as well as music industry leaders from Pandora Radio, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. The festival is expected to draw thousands of music enthusiasts to the area.
President of the New Noise Festival Jeff Theimer said that Santa Barbara is an ideal city to host an event that focuses on the future of the music industry.
“Coupled with the idea of being close to both Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara was a perfect location to have a music festival to help people experience new and exciting music, and on the conference side explore what the music industry is doing to use new technology to help gain fans and expand their fan base,” Theimer said.
Theimer said he hopes that the estimated 4,000 to 5,000 festival attendees will help to develop the local music scene.
“I grew up in Santa Barbara playing in bands,” he said. “I used to go to the Underground, Coach House, Living Room, Anaconda, etc. and we had a truly amazing scene. I think we lost something with the demise of all-age venues in this town. That is something New Noise would like to get back.”
The festival will feature bands such as Michael Franti and Spearhead with special guest Murs, who are all performing at the Arlington Theatre at 8 p.m. tonight. Other music performances, including sets by many local bands, will be held at SOhO, Velvet Jones, Sandbar and Whiskey Richard’s throughout the weekend.
The festival’s conference, which will focus on how new media is affecting the music industry, will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Canary Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Key speakers include the founder of Pandora Radio Tim Westergren, President of Music at Lionsgate Jay Faires, VP of Technology at Warner Bros., Ethan Kaplan and many others.
“I think the conference has the potential to become something special and targeted for those who are interested [in] learning and discussing how technology is changing the music industry as a whole,” Theimer said.
Theimer added that Pandora’s founder Westergren is one of the festival’s most anticipated speakers.
“[He] will be at the conference, speaking about Pandora radio, their future and how they plan to continue streaming and helping the masses discover new music,” he said.
The festival will also feature the premiere of Jack Johnson’s new movie, “Jack Johnson: En Concert,” on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Arlington Theatre. The director will host a Q&A session following the film.
Concert tickets range from $5 to $14 for single-club shows. Those interested in attending both the conference and the performances can purchase badges or wristbands online, which range in price from $40 to $199.