San Diego Indiefest

Why Indie?

Indie means independent.

In a world run by a handful of dominant corporate influences, independent art, business and community groups are more precious than ever before. They're what give a place a sense of culture, color and uniqueness. They're the direct reflection of the human beings who live there. Without them, we'd see nothing but billboard, strip-mall sameness no matter where we go.

Supporting and growing this independent spirit is the first step toward harnessing our collective power to honor diversity and manifest justice and change.

San Diego IndieFest (SDIF) celebrates and advocates for outstanding independent music, film, art, business and ideas. We are passionate in our conviction that music and art can uplift, inspire and motivate in ways nothing else can. There is a world of good going on out there that simply doesn't get the attention nor support it deserves. We strive to change that. With the collective power of the people, progress happens!

SDIF began for a few reasons. People would come up to us after a show and say, "That was amazing. Why have I never heard of you?" or, "Why aren't you guys famous yet?" While it was a compliment, it was also frustrating, because we knew then, as we do now, that fame is not the measure of talent.

There are literally thousands of truly brilliant artists, thinkers and change-makers out there, who you and I have never heard of. They simply haven't been in the lucky, tiny minority who land a big record deal or whose book/ project/ video has gone viral.

So we decided that we could channel our frustrations into something that celebrates - and in the process -teaches people what we knew to be true. Our goal became to create one day when people came together to make discoveries and be inspired. In that process, we're doing a few other things; we're encouraging artists, community leaders and indie businesses to connect and create alliances, we're opening up people's minds about all kinds of artistic genres and ideas they may've been previously closed to, we're challenging assumptions, ("Girls can't play guitar like guys can. " Then they swallow a fly cuz their jaw is hanging open while watching Laurie Morvan channel Hendrix on the Green Stage….or "Black guys don't do rock." and then they hear A Band Called Pain and swallow another fly.)….and finally, we're reminding folks that by supporting our local independents, we are doing something significant - we are preserving local culture.

The surge toward the domination of corporate culture was bad in 2004 when we started, and it's still bad. More and more of us are flocking to the big box mega-stores and restaurants every year. But if we don't want our beautiful communities to look like every other in Strip Mall, USA, we've got to patronize our local indies! It's our local coffee houses, farmer's markets, restaurants, co-ops, art galleries, book & record stores, non-profits, etc. that help create the culture of a place. IndieFest works hard to bring this point home, and since moving to our own neighborhood of City Heights, we've experienced more support from the Indies themselves than we have in our entire history.

SDIF 9 will feature three stages of amazing, super diverse music and performance - The Aly Sun Welcoming Stage, in honor of our dear friend Aly Sun Panichi who just passed a few weeks ago. She was a musician, a music therapist and an amazing Role Mama, as Danielle says. This stage will be lifted up amid beautiful palm trees on the corner of Fairmount and Wightman and will be where artists can quite literally serenade the city.

Then there's the Train of Thought Stage, hosted by Gill Sotu and sponsored by the City Heights Business Association, which will be inside the Helen and Manfred Klich Improv Area (sponsored by the late parents of local jazz notable, Chris Klich) and will also include some Open Mic slots throughout the day, as well as The Art of Healing improv art wall, hosted by La Maestra and several other interactive and improv art installations including The Clothesline Project, and an interactive photography experience sponsored by the AjA Project. Our theme this year is Rock To Stop Violence, which is also the name of our Non Profit fiscal receiver. So we've got a number of activities and non profits coming in that address this beautifully.

This area will also feature several activities for the kiddos including two great playgrounds, one for older kids and another for toddlers, a super fun area sponsored by the new Copley-Price YMCA, Music Together, and the amazing Fern Street Circus.

And finally, the Durga Sound Main Stage, which will include the Tower Bar Beer Garden, sponsored by the City Heights historic landmark Tower Bar, the International Village Oasis, sponsored by The City Heights Community Development Corporation, or CHCDC and the Indie Art Row, presented by Thumbprint Gallery.

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