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Reflecting on 5 Years of Doing it Ourselves - By Dan Talamantes and Ryan Baesemann

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Reflecting on 5 Years of Doing it Ourselves - By Dan Talamantes and Ryan Baesemann

Steven Stubblefield

Once a year, up through the undulating, narrow passages of the Santa Cruz Mountains, seekers of virtue make their pilgrimage to the Do-It-Ourselves Festival. While increasing in altitude along Highway 9, whipping and weaving past the historic towns of Felton, Ben Lomond, and Boulder Creek, they arrive well-intentioned, with an eye and an ear for earnest expression.

The festival grounds of Camp Krem peer down the winding mountainside, where the shores of Monterey loom invitingly and majestically in the distance. Rich in flora and fauna, the scenery compliments the culture justly; instilling a sense of pride and belonging in those who've elected to share in their symbolic reward. There is a quality to the air that imbibes the spirit with revelation and elation, where all sing the songs of joy and sighs of transcendental solitude in their particular animation.

Around the tail end of April, for the fifth year running, these pilgrims will gather at our hillside sanctuary of music, art, and community. All are there to contribute and participate, with a belief that our project is one of worth.

These pilgrims are seeking something of religious decree. They are aesthetes, there under the common appreciation of community, performance, craft, art, and song. By way of a grassroots initiative and a relentless need to celebrate art in life and life in art, the DIO community is eager to again make this offering to you.

Be it dance-hall debauchery, late-night bonfires, or portraiture gaffs, all are welcome to engage with and contribute towards the DIO-vibe. All are free to perform their kinetics of imagination.

There is something to be said for a culture that inspires such light, fostering sincere interaction between like-minded individuals. The weight of your everyday is too heavy to carry up the mountain. It is unburdened before the climb.

As the festival continues to grow and evolve, maintaining this aspect is our primary focus. Each participant should feel accepted and enabled to absorb the culture and express themselves in any which way they may be inclined. By supporting local, up-and-coming musicians, as well as established acts, DIO aims to provide a worthy showcase for the Santa Cruz, Bay Area, and California communities. This is for the love of music and art, nothing more. All have agreed to perform and participate solely for the shared experience of giving back.

Because of the continual attraction and interest of the event, our acts and production have risen to a new zenith. This year, being the fifth consecutive DIO, there is a sense of nostalgia as well as an exuberant glance into the future. We’re mighty humbled to have booked Bonnie Prince Billy and Possessed by Paul James to headline the event. Also, having secured the return of supporting artists, such as Marty O’Reilly and Kendra McKinley, we're left with a profound appreciation for the remembrance of things past and ties of friendship long established. DIO serves as a fond reflection of our maturation as a community event and gathering of the arts. We couldn't be more grateful for the ride. 

With tickets forecasted to sell-out far earlier than years past, don’t hesitate to join us! There are still volunteer roles available, and should this option suit ya, we’d love to have your help!