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Photos by Peter Vandenbelt (Daily Nexus)
The Isla Vista community gathered at greater Anisq’ Oyo’ Park on Saturday to enjoy a host of environmentally friendly activities and listen to live performances at UCSB’s annual Chilla Vista festival.
Hosted primarily by the Associated Students Isla Vista Community Relations Committee in conjunction with several other campus groups, the event began at 1 p.m. and lasted until 6 p.m.
In addition to various games and activities, the festival offered attendees free food, as provided by the Isla Vista Food Co-op. Musical acts, including headliner Radical Something, performed on the park’s solar-powered stage. Student organizations that helped sponsor and take part in the event include A.S. Program Board, IVCRC and Community Affairs Board.
External Chair of IVCRC Elizabeth Akman said organizers were pleased with the proceedings, particularly the event’s performances, and there were no major troubles encountered during the event.
“It was a great turnout,” Akman said. “All the bands were really great. We started out a little late, but it wasn’t really an issue. Most of the day went pretty smoothly.”
A variety of foods were available for attendees, such as the Food Co-op’s fresh produce and Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss vanilla ice cream. Some activities featured include a smoothie-making bicycle and a display of pictures on which people were able to write down little notes of what they liked about I.V.
While all games and food were completely complimentary, Akman said there was a system in which attendees would receive free food and prizes in exchange for participating in activities.
“We give out everything for free. The catch is that you have to participate in one of the booths,” Akman said. “The people working the booths give out ‘skrilla,’ which are wristbands that serve as ‘money.’ People could use their skrilla to get free items.”
Chris Cubbison, special events assistant for A.S. Program Board, oversaw the booking and managing of different student performers. Cubbison said he strove to bring a variety of different musical genres to the festival.
“We had a really good kind of display and a good variance with those bands, as well as a lot of different kinds of sounds to go along with it, too,” Cubbison said. “I think about Adventure Dogs, who typically bring, like, a nice kind of garage-rock sort of feel. I also think about Ultraviolet which was the third band who played, who are a little bit more experimental…”
According to Cubbison, providing such an eclectic mix of music helps to please a wider range of audiences.
“It was all about mixing it up and providing a lot of different types of sounds for people that wanted to hear stuff from across the board,” Cubbison said.
Veronika Navarra, first-year communication and psychology major, said the festival offered a time to relax and enjoy the live entertainment. Her favorite moment, she said, was witnessing the band Radical Something film a music video on location for their hit single, “Santa Barbara.”
“It was really awesome to see everyone out in I.V. just relaxing, enjoying the sun and the great music,” Navarra said. “The best part was how Radical Something was filming … and how excited everyone was about it.”
According to Cubbison, A.S. Program Board, IVCRC and Community Affairs Board began organizing Chilla Vista much earlier in the year than compared to years past. Cubbison said he hopes to repeat that more proactive approach in the future.
“Our coordination between groups started a lot earlier than it had in the past, so I think we were on the same sort of page throughout the entire planning process,” Cubbison said. “We should definitely try to do that again and try to strive for starting the planning process as early as possible.”
IVCRC Events Coordinator Matt Gonzales said Chilla Vista underwent some changes this year that focused on sustainability and locality.
“We kind of tried to do things differently this year, like we worked with the Co-op,” Gonzales said. “That was really good because we had all that food and it was healthy, and people get to learn about the Co-op at the same time, so that was beneficial for both of us … We tried to keep the bands kind of smaller this year, too, to make it more local and about the community.”
Since Chilla Vista is a public event, Akman said the number of attendees was difficult to track precisely. She estimated over 1,000 attendees, however, as all of the 600 free tank tops available disappeared within the first half of the festival.
According to Cubbison, the event attracted a number that satisfied Chilla Vista organizers and made for a successful endeavor.
“It was a good turnout; there was consistently a good amount of people throughout the day, and that’s all that we can ask for when planning a festival,” Cubbison said.
Roughly 20 to 30 student groups were involved in the day’s festivities, according to Gonzales, who said the festival’s main goal is to provide an alternative to stereotypical I.V. social activities and to do so without hurting the environment.
“We wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and have fun at a good event to just have outside of partying, where people can come get free food and listen to live music,” Gonzales said. “We also wanted to promote sustainability and recycling.”
For next year’s Chilla Vista, Akman said event coordinators plan to initiate more efforts and bring in a greater range of performances.
Riley Allen, third-year biochemistry major, said this year’s festival showed improvement from last year’s in regards to the band performances and overall atmosphere of the event.
“I went to Chilla Vista last year and it was chill; I thought there was no way that this year could be chiller than last. Me and the homies were mad chillin’ listening to some rad tunes,” Allen said. “The weather was chillin’; the vibes were sweet. This year was so much chiller.”