Local Jam 2016
by Greg Hartman
2016 is the second year of Local Jam, hosted at Sweet River Gardens. The venue also hosts a yearly Fantasy Faire, which is apparent by signage and displays left up in the forest setting. The Colorado River borders the south of the property which boasts a significant beach that invites swimmers and lounging in the sun. The stage area is unfinished wood, with logs serving as seating for the crowd. Other than the generator, amps, and speakers it does feel like a location that could be anywhere, or any time.
The line up for the festival is impressive, with many acts donating their time, or taking a small pay out. Brian Mora, of the Tankerays, stated that building this community event is more important than getting paid for one night. Other artists shared the view. Aaron Seibert, Jack and Jill guitarist and co-coordinator of Local Jam, sees this as an important growing year that could lead to an annual event that rivals other regional festivals. The first day attendance was slow at first, but by the end of the night attendance was estimated at 160.
Day two saw an impressive line up starting at 11 AM with acoustic rock from Tim Jennings, acoustic punk rock from Ryan Harrison, and acoustic singer/songwriter Kyle Harvey. The crowd began to grow with the 4 PM set from LPB and kept going strong through the closing trio of Haven Effect, Jack + Jill and The Wrong Impressions. Lead singer Bridgett Gutierrez of the Wrong Impressions had a stand out performance as dark claimed the gardens, leaping onto speakers and belting out the group's signature high energy rock. Paid attendees topped out at 185, with bands, volunteers, and vendors pushing the total attendance past 200.
Day 3 was an eclectic lineup, with Sobear standing out with his original EDM mixing. The day also saw Hip Hop From Headchang3 and closed with metal rockers Hashkoff. While the heat was high during the day, attendees were treated to the most varied festival line up within the valley. The future looks great for this event as more people get involved and word spreads about the idyllic concert setting.