Culture 5, a collective of artists, musicians and business owners, announced that Nick Waterhouse will headline the inaugural Tastemaker Music & Art Festival on October 18 at Rawhide Stadium in Visalia. Also performing will be Valley artists Strange Vine, Mezcal, Taco Wagon and Califas.
Event organizers say the Tastemakers Festival is a celebration of the rapidly growing creative community in the Visalia area and an effort to further brand the Valley as the newest musical and cultural hub in California.
“I’ve been involved in many festivals over the years, but collaborating with this new team on the Tastemakers event has been the most exciting,” said Aaron Gomes, executive director at Sound N Vision and a member of Culture 5. “The idea of getting THE Nick Waterhouse to play in Visalia’s best outdoor fest venue blows my mind. With such a solid lineup of bands, art, craft beer and unique food options, Tastemakers will be Visalia’s premier annual festival.”
Gomes, who has been booking and producing live music concerts in Visalia for more than a decade, says tapping Waterhouse as the event’s headliner was a no-brainer.
“We chose L.A.’s Waterhouse to headline the festival because he is world-renowned for having an intense live show that is timeless,” said Gomes. “He and his large live band embody the past, present and future of rock n’ roll, R&B and soul music. In short, they know how to make the party dance and have a good time.”
Waterhouse is currently on a 30-stop worldwide tour in support of his second full-length album, Holly. The Tastemakers festival will be the final show of his month-long tour. Waterhouse, a modern-day band leader, travels with an eight-piece arrangement that features two horns, percussion, keyboards, guitar, bass and backup vocals.
“The band just cooks,” says Waterhouse. “They stretch it out and it’s about maintaining the energy and upping it 15% from the records.”
Strange Vine, a two-piece out of Fresno, are often compared to another two-piece rock band, The Black Keys. Strange Vine is a mix of blues, psychedelic and traditional rock ‘n’ roll.
Mezcal, Visalia’s Latin groove band, has been tearing up stages in the Valley for more than a decade, and have taken the stage with the likes of Los Lobos, Malo, El Chicano, Tierra and Poncho Sanchez.
Taco Wagon is another Visalia favorite and a powerful two-piece band that produces traditional surf rock music.
Califas, is a Latin-infused party band from the Valley and will kick things off at the Tastemakers.
In addition to the live musical acts, The Tastemakers Art & Music Festival will feature culinary options plucked from the area along with local beer produced by Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company in Fresno and live art demonstrations by local artists.
“We really wanted to focus on all the talent that we have here and make people pay attention,” said Cecil Lopez, Culture 5 co-founder and creative director of the local design agency Third Level Group. “We knew if we were going to make this thing grow and get the attention we want, we had to go all in.”
Tickets for the Tastemakers Art & Music Festival are $25 and are available in Visalia at Pita Kabob, The Cellar Door, Velouria Records and Rawhide Ballpark. Tickets can also be purchased online at TicketWeb.com.