The Isla Vista Community Services District held its third annual Spring Festival at Little Acorn Park on April 6, the same day as Deltopia. 

The alternative Deltopia event Spring Festival featured performances from local Isla Vista Bands and free taco truck food. Wesley Haver / Daily Nexus.

The event aimed to keep festival-goers away from parties as an alternative to Deltopia, attracting roughly 1,000 attendees with free food trucks and performances from local Isla Vista musicians. 

Deltopia is an annual unsanctioned street festival on the first Sunday of spring quarter. In 2023, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office (SBSO) and the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control made 23 arrests and 151 citations. To deter festival attendees from high-density party residences, the Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) launched the first Spring Festival in 2022.

Beginning at 1 p.m., the festival offered alternative activities for students and I.V. residents. Vendors and booths included a body paint station, 3D live printing, 360 photo booth, glitter tattoos, tooth gems and live painting. The event featured artists from around California such as Jaelen Hsu, Stephen Harper, Melissa Olague Loera and Angela Cantu. 

Additionally, the event had live performances from Isla Vista musicians Orange Pit, Dawn Patrol, Kennethy, Magnetize and Eternal Wave. The event also featured a set by  DJ Mason & Pedro. Genres ranged from indie, surf rock, folk and rap. 

IVCSD Community Spaces Program Manager Myah Mashhadialireza’s goal was to highlight local art during the event.

“We’re also starting to celebrate the parts of Isla Vista that aren’t typically looked at during this season … it brings more community groups together to celebrate all the great parts of Isla Vista,” Mashhadialireza said. 

Several local businesses like Roger’s Tacos, Elubia’s Kitchen, Maria’s Tacos and Zocalo participated in a “Best of I.V. Taco Contest” and gave out free unlimited tacos. 

IVCSD General Manager Jonathan Abboud said the taco stands attracted long lines throughout the day. 

“The lines for food are doing their magic. People are sobering up and getting some food to feel better and have energy,” Abboud said during the event. 

Over the years, the event has grown to include more amenities and recreational activities. IVCSD increased its food budget for the event from $15,00 in 2023 to $28,000 in 2024.

“Our goal was to scale this up so that we can have more opportunities for people to be in a safe place in an event that can turn very unsafe and unhealthy very quickly,” IVCSD Director Spencer Brandt said. 

Second-year sociology major William Rodriguez said he was glad he could attend an event that followed the newly implemented social ordinance laws. 

“Since there’s a lot of new laws I think that [the festival] allows for a different experience for people who would rather not participate in the main events of Deltopia,” Rodriguez said. 

Brandt said that IVCSD aimed to create a safe environment for the community. 

“This is what community safety looks like. We’ve seen dozens of medical calls and here at this event, people can chill, hang out, be safe, get water, food and have a good time” Brandt said. 

2024 marks the second year the Isla Vista Community Services District hosted its Spring Festival. Wesley Haver / Daily Nexus

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