The Crestone Eagle • September, 2021

The 20th Crestone Music Festival is happening!

by Tom Dessain

Come join us for the 20th Crestone Music Festival Saturday, September 4, Labor Day weekend! It will be held in downtown Crestone from 11am to 8pm. There will be two stages, multi-genre and multi-cultural acts plus vendors and activities for youth. But, the best part is . . . it’s free! That’s right, free. Can’t beat that. There will be performers we have produced in schools plus local and regional acts. Something new and different will be a morning songwriter’s circle. This will give more local musicians the opportunity to play and should be very entertaining. So locals, call and sign-up at 256-4533. Besides the stage acts, there will be various off stage acts like the Shumei Taiko drummers, African drums and the Salida Circus. We need the community to get involved by being vendors and volunteers. More information and vendor applications are available on-line at crestfest.org or call 719-256-4533.  

Our headliner will be 10-piece Afrobeat band Atomga. Besides great singing, there is a pile of instruments played, including a full percussion section and a very cool horn section that includes a bass trombone.  This band uses authentic, Nigerian Afrobeat as its foundation, then branches out into styles including funk, jazz and world beat. This will be an authentic, deep grooving, booty-shaking Afrobeat dance party! 

Opening for Atomga is 2MX2. This is an alternative, bi-lingual, positive message Hip Hop group. They embrace modern political topics such as immigration, health and education reform. Their music is in both English and Spanish and integrates underground hip hop with rhythms from northern Mexico. They have morphed from  3-piece rapping with computerized music to a full 7-piece band with no computer. They are joined by the drummer for the Flobots. This group is also one of our most popular school performers for our Youth Enrichment Program.    

The Grammy-winning Shumei Taiko drummers will perform with their typical thunderous salute to the heavens. This has been our most popular school act, having performed over 20 times all across the valley. 

We have Palmas at 3pm. Palmas plays original music influenced by their love of flamenco, and Latin jazz. Their music combines fiery and soulful guitar work with world rhythms and soaring vocals. They describe it as “Nueva Eclectica.” 

Another school performer joining the fray is our own local African drum troupe The Crestone Rhythm Project. They will be joined by our very own local hula hooper, Malana Faith Ramadei. She will be joined by another one of our school performance groups, the Salida Circus who will be doing workshops all day for all ages. You’ll want to tumble on down for that. Add to all this the local rock band Agadaze and you’ll have a day to remember! 

A new twist this time is the naming of our stages. Amicas Pizza in Salida made a clerical error and we were paid twice for their annual sponsorship. A light bulb went off and I suggested that we could name a stage after them and they went for it. Then the very next 5 people I told this story to that day all volunteered, without asking, to do the same at a lower price! Wow! So we now have the Amicas stage and the Crestone Community Stage which features a dozen local businesses chippin’ in. They are the Crestone Mercantile, The Crestone Eagle, Joyful Journey Hot Springs, Valley Root Food Hub, Buck’s Pizza, Steve Harrell Quality Homes, The Alamosa Live Music Association, Artisanal Building, Shaman Arts Design, Higher Elevation Dispensary, Shangrila Stoves and Crestone Creative Trade. Thanks go out to all of them and that clerical error.

Another neat addition to the fest are our free door prizes. We have certificates for hot springs, restaurants, lodging, shopping, massages, automotive repair and some art. All we ask from you is your zip code for demographics. There will be multiple winners so check it out at the festival booth. 

Please do not attend if you are feeling ill. Free hand sanitizer and masks will be made available. In the interest of public health and safety, we will be following state & CDC guidelines at the time of the event.

Our continued success is made possible through individual donations, grants and sponsors. Our annual sponsors are: Colorado Creative Industries, Saguache County, The Crestone Eagle, Orient Land Trust, Joyful Journey Hot Springs, Manitou Institute, the Sand Dunes Swimming Pool, Sangre de Cristo Real Estate, Aventa Credit Union and Amicas Pizza in Salida. If you would like more information or would like to contribute to our efforts, please visit crestfest.org and/or give us a call at 719-256-4533. Our address is P.O. Box 6, Crestone, CO 81131. CPI is a 501(c)3 non-profit community service organization. All donations are tax deductible. We really want to create a sustainable event that’s unique, cool and a positive contributor to our community. So . . . see ya there!