‘Energy’ makes Hoodstock a success

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Sweet Adelines singers (from left) Marla St. John, Judy Galloway and Letha Johnson perform at Hoodstock on Sunday. Behind them is the banner for Radio Tierra, which benefited from the weekend event at the Hood River Marina.

Attendance: down. Attitude: up

Hoodstock 2003 was a success from the latter standpoint, as more than 200 people braved windy conditions over the course of Saturday and Sunday to hear a broad playbill of local musical groups and young speakers at Hood River Marina Park.

“There was tremendous enthusiasm and energy,” said organizer Paul Woolery of the sponsoring Columbia River Fellowship for Peace, though attendance dropped from 800 in the 2002 Hoodstock.

Half the proceeds from Hoodstock will go to helping start Radio Tierra, KZAS 95.1, a new community radio station that organizers hope will go on the air in 2004.

Woolery credited the 200 volunteers with making the event run smoothly, but said he believes the weekend’s blustery weather “really kept the crowds back.”

Yet Woolery said the Fellowship is “definitely enthused and looking forward to putting this on next year. We want to make this an annual event.”

The 17 musical groups provided “wonderful diversity, tremendous talent, which is one of the reasons we’re definitely going to do this: there is so much enthusiasm from the musicians and volunteers to showcase the talent in the Gorge.”

The diversity was in keeping with the mission of Radio Tierra, which will present bilingual programming featuring a broad spectrum of music and community events.

Spokesman Dardo Salas said, “Music is happy and we live in a world that is often sad,” and the station will present positive programming by volunteers whose efforts will be from the heart “yet it will be done in a professional way.”

Hoodstock was about more than music. Young people spoke about their future hopes, and guest speaker, Deborah Benavides read poems.

“We invited people up to the age of 25, and asked them to speak about their vision for a just and peaceful world,” Woolery said. “It was one of the most inspiring features of the event, to listen to these people who are so energized to make the world a better place.

“Everyone there had a fabulous time,” Woolery said. “We regret the weather kept the crowds back. We are strategizing about a different time to have it next year to help us take advantage of better weather — possibly moving the festival up a couple of weeks.”

Speakers also included Daniel Chance, Louis DeSitter, Susanna Gabay, Jon Gehrig, Ashley Kastner, Rosanna Marquez, Loehn Rawdin-Morris, Dana Utroske, Zoe Ward, and Laila Winner, all aged 12-19. Anthony Villa-Gomez, 23, and Jesse Hunter, 25, also spoke.

Musical performers were: Zinindika, youth marimba; Pyromite, youth funk rock; Samba Hood Rio, Samba; Fantasia, Mexican “grupera”; Mondo Hollywood, youth rock; The Black Butterflies, vintage blues; Bigger of Two, Classic and contemporary rock; Luna Rise, Latin rock-reggae; Moe Dixon, folk rock; Blue Trick, rock, blues, country, and folk; White Salmon Jazz, Big Band jazz; Sweet Adelines, acapella harmony; Sea Breeze, eclectic Mexican; Antifaz, popular and traditional Mexican; All Night Station, alternative country and bluegrass; Swing Crew, Swing and jazz; and Django’s Cadillac, Swing and jazz.

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