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Live Oak Music Festival: Back to its San Luis Obispo roots at El Chorro Regional Park

After nearly three decades of musical performances staged at Live Oak Camp in Santa Barbara County, the annual Live Oak Music Festival is going back to its roots and will be held at El Chorro Regional Park in San Luis Obispo this year.

In addition to moving locations, the festival is also changing dates, as it had traditionally been held over the Father’s Day weekend. This year, the family-friendly entertainment festival will be staged from June 21 to 23.

Before moving to Santa Barbara County, the Live Oak Music Festival was held at Biddle Regional Park in Arroyo Grande. Founded in 1989, the popular festival features musicians performing a variety of genres, including Afrobeat, soul, folk, gospel, roots rock, Americana and much more.

Organizers announced last August the 31st annual festival was moving from its long-standing location near Lake Cachuma to San Luis Obispo County, citing multiple reasons for the relocation, such as a reduced fire danger, improved water supply for dust control and better infrastructure at El Chorro Regional Park that’s situated just off of Highway 1 near Cuesta College in the Chorro Valley.

Grant support from the city of San Luis Obispo and more moderate temperatures—the thermometer often soared into the 90s and above at the festival’s former location in the usually dry, dusty and hot mountains of northern Santa Barbara County—were also cited as reasons for relocating the 31st annual Live Oak Music Festival to a new venue this year.

“I am elated at how enthusiastically Live Oak fans have responded to our new home,” said KCBX General Manager Frank Lanzone about this year’s move to El Chorro Regional Park, where he expects music aficionados of all ages to be drawn to experience this year’s live concerts in a beautiful setting, with the county’s iconic volcanic peaks—the Morros—as the backdrop.

He also noted ticket sales for this year’s three-day event are currently outpacing last year’s sales and recommended that individuals not wait to get their tickets.

“Tickets are selling briskly, ahead of last year’s pace,” he said, noting there are three-day passes available, as well as single-day passes.

Full festival passes give attendees access to the event on all three days—Friday, Saturday and Sunday—with single-day passes also available for adults, teens ages 13 to 17, and children, ages four to 12.

Also new this year, individuals with full day passes can enter the festival on Thursday for a minimal additional fee, according to Lanzone.

To purchase tickets, visit www.liveoakfest.org.

A complete list of musicians, along with their bios, and a map of the new campground can also be found on the Live Oak website. To date, 17 acts have been booked for the festival, with many more to be announced, organizers said.

For those not wishing to camp at El Chorro Regional Park, the new location of the festival offers attendees many different options for indoor lodging, including any number of San Luis Obispo’s hotels. Individuals who book a room at one of the hotels listed at https:// sanluisobispovacations.com/find-a-hotel/ can receive up to $10 off festival tickets.

Individuals should provide their hotel booking confirmation to promotions@sanluisobispovacations.com, where they will receive a code for the discount to use when purchasing festival tickets online, according to organizers.

Additionally, organizers recently announced the unveiling of this year’s festival artwork, which was designed by Central Coast artist, Kris Doe, who said he drew on his 25 years of experience as an illustrator, painter and art instructor, as well as Live Oak’s move back to SLO County, for this year’s poster design.

Doe’s design features Highway 1, the Morros, SLO’s rolling hills and its oaks and numerous musical instruments—guitars, a drum and trumpet—floating in the blue sky.

“When I was invited to visualize and design this year’s Live Oak poster, I wanted to communicate the festival’s move to SLO,” Doe said. “I imagined hovering over the area of El Chorro Park and looking south to witness the migration of the music arriving both around and over our striking Morros, from the festival’s previous location.”

KCBX public radio serves listeners from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and southern Monterey counties.



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