Springtime in Three Rivers will be filled with music, art and family fun, as a pair of events — the Earth Jam and the Three Rivers Music Festival — fill the riverside hills with entertainers coming together from far and wide to support a pair of good causes.
Inaugural Earth Jam
The good times begin with the Earth Jam the weekend of April 17-19 at the Three Rivers Hideaway Campgrounds and Resort, featuring a line-up sure to please lovers of jam bands. Headlining the three days of “camping, music and fun, basically,” is Keller Williams, a favorite among post-Grateful Dead jam music fans, said Hard In Productions marketing director Jacqueline Delaney. Also performing will be keyboardist Melvin Seals of the Jerry Garcia Band. Garcia, the late front man for the Grateful Dead, died in 1995. Williams’ Keller and the Keels will also perform, as will a long list of national and local acts. The musicians are expected to cross band lines to join each other on stage throughout the weekend.
“It’s going to be an ongoing jam,” Delaney said. “It’s going to be an intimate experience. We’re keeping it small.”
Each day, the festival will start the revels with a drum circle. The weekend will also feature local and organic foods, vendors, artists and artisans. The small venue will allow camping, with special areas that put visitors “right in all the action,” Delaney said.
Also headlining is TROPO, a live electronica band that’s gained popularity on the festival circuit and had its start in Three Rivers.
“Two of the three members grew up in Three Rivers,” said Delaney, “so they’re coming back to their roots.”
Tickets, available online at earthjamfestival.com or at White’s Music in Visalia, are $65 for the entire weekend if purchased before April 1. Prices go up to $78 after that date. Camping passes are $20 per person, and VIP camping for six people at the stage area is $180. Children 16 and younger will be admitted for free with their parents. Profits from the event will be donated to Valley Children’s Hospital and Three Rivers Elementary School.
“We want it to be a family event,” Delaney said.
The Three Rivers Hideaway is located at 43365 Sierra Drive.
Fourth Annual Three Rivers Music Festival
On Saturday, May 9, the Three Rivers Music Festival returns for its fourth year at the Lions Roping Arena, with gates opening at 11am and the music beginning at 11:30.
“Last year, we had 13 bluegrass, folk and rock bands,” said event organizer Wendy Ballew. “We’ve got a beer and wine garden, artisans and vendor booths.”
Many Three Rivers artists will be working during the festival, as will the artisans. The event also features a silent auction, with items donated by local artist and businesses. While the lineup for 2015 is still being assembled, organizers expect many of the same bands who pleased crowds during previous festivals to return.
Tickets for the event, available at Three Rivers Drugs and Three River Mercantile, as well as online at 3r-aid.org, are $12 before April 20, and $17 after. An additional $1 fee is required to purchase online. Children under 12 will be admitted free of charge, and the festival intends to provide ample entertainment for younger festival-goers.
“There’s a whole area just for kids,” said Ballew. “They’re setting up a big, muddy place for the kids with squirt guns and water balloons.”
Children’s entertainment will also include games, face painting, a water slide, crafts and activities.
All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Emergency Aid Alliance, a locally founded and operated charity that helps residents with limited incomes make ends meet and pay for unexpected expenses.
“It can be various things, like ‘My septic system went out, and insurance doesn’t cover it’ or ‘I can’t afford my pharmaceuticals,’” Ballew said. “In 2013, we helped people with $13,000. Last year, we doubled it. As word gets around, the donations going out have increased. The music festival came because of the need.”
Those seeking help from the Emergency Aid Alliance can contact the group through its website — 3r-aid.org — or by calling 561-4021.
“We have an application process. It’s pretty simple and takes less than an hour,” Ballew said. “Then, we go out to their place and talk to them. We try to find ongoing solutions.”
The Alliance also maintains a list of local resources to help those in need find long-term solutions to meeting recurring expenses they cannot afford. The festival provides both the funding to help the Alliance’s clients, but also fosters a greater local sense of community.
“It’s fun with family, and you get out,” said Ballew. “You meet the artists and get to meet the community.”
The Lions Roping Arena is located at 42490 N. Kaweah River Drive.