There isn’t anything better than celebrating a place that values community, local artists and businesses, and the environment that harbors it all. Basically, there is no celebration like the Eugene Celebration that took place this past weekend, August 26, 27, and 28th. What really topped the entire shebang off, however, was the music. Local artists came to showcase their talents at numerous stages throughout the downtown alongside of acclaimed visiting musicians. Friday night at the KLCC stage was rocked by Fely Tchaco. Rooted in traditional Ivorian music, the sounds emanating from the stage were soulful, socially aware, and incredibly beautiful. With a five year old girl tearing it up on my right and a tattooed 70+ couple dancing harder than I’ve ever seen to my left, I was in good company, and it continued like that all weekend long. The night was topped off with a little roots reggae by the boys of Iration. Bringing a little bit of Hawaii north into the mainland, their up-tempo beats and island looks had the ladies shakin’ it in the front, myself included. Saturday afternoon at the Eugene Weekly Stage was graced with incredible local talent during the Eugene Weekly’s ‘Next Big Thing’ competition. Betty and the Boy made celebrators stop in their tracks with soothing vocals and mellow rhythms. Up next Tyler Fortier blew the crowd away with his sexy voice and all-star band. The winner? A tie. Eugene’s music scene is just that good. Saturday night for me began with the lineup that you absolutely could not stand still to. Hillstomp, Mississippi backwoods bluegrass, and later Dumpstaphunk, New Orleans funk, tore up their stages making people of all ages officially get down. There could be no better way to celebrate the incredible community that is Eugene, Oregon.
“Music does bring people together.
It allows us to experience the same emotions.
People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit.
No matter what language we speak, what color we are,
the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith,
music proves: We are the same.”
~ John Denver ~
Eugene Weekly’s tied winner, Betty and the Boy