Festival of Ideas
Ending summer with a Sh’Bang
WHAT: “Sh’bang! A Festival of Ideas”
WHEN: Sept. 11-13
WHERE: Lookout Arts Quarry
COST: Day passes are $25-$40; weekend pass with camping is $80-$100; parking is $20-$30 (free for four or more people in a regular-sized car)
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Meteorologically speaking, this coming weekend is expected to dazzle.
If all goes according to plan, daytime temperatures will be warm enough for those who refuse to give up on tank tops, shorts and flip-flops until the first frost to continue to don their seasonal attire, yet cool enough at night that socks (or long johns) might become a necessity.
The fair-weather forecast bodes well for the organizers of the eighth annual “Sh’Bang! A Festival of Ideas,” which is set to take place Fri.-Sun., Sept. 11-13 at the Lookout Arts Quarry, located 10 minutes south of Bellingham on Old Highway 99.
Per usual, the three-day event defies succinct categorization.
The first Sh’Bang! was easy enough to explain; on the second-to-last weekend of the summer of 2007, those residing at the center for circus arts and sustainable living hosted an off-road soapbox derby at the former rock quarry.
Eight years later, the arts collective has expanded and approximately 1,000 attendees are expected to show up to experience the talents of more than 28 live bands, 45 performances and enough interactive experiences to keep both adults and kids busy.
Those who haven’t visited the “festival of ideas” before may be wondering if they’re attending a music gathering, a circus or an off-the-grid immersive camping experience. The truth of the matter is, it’s all of above.
While the music (everyone from Hot Damn Scandal to the Free Range Revelers to the Sky Colony, Mr. Moo, Cobra Wolf Shark, and more) and the theatrical spectacles (Odds Are, Emergency Circus, Inflammable Circus, Lost and Found Puppet Co., Leapin’ Louie etc.) are worth the price of admission on their own, it’s the creative accoutrements that will be taking place throughout the weekend that also attract revelers to the scene.
For example, the Daredevil Downhill Soapbox Derby going down at noon on Saturday is still a big draw, with prizes awarded in categories including “costumes,” “spectacular crash” and “creative engineering.” (Racers must be willing to sign waivers stating they, “their relatives, friends and pet tarantulas” forgo any claims against Lookout Arts, so don’t balk when it comes time to jump in your jalopy.)
Additional attractions on the lineup include dancing, swimming, a giant puppet parade, a trapeze zip line, interactive theme camps, carnival games, shadow art, exploding aerial pinatas, aquatic puppetry, visits with mermaids, pirates and aliens, and a whole bunch of surprises.
Sh’Bang! will happen whether it rains or shines, so you might want to pack an umbrella when putting together your weekend supplies. Then, even if it’s sunny and hot, you’ll have ready-made shade.
More On Stage...
Powerful in pink
When I was in first grade, one of my teachers placed me with a group of remedial readers despite the fact that I was already powering through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books and could make my way through most encyclopedia entries—something my mother pointed out…
Some strings attached
Following a recent viewing of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, I was reminded of how closely connected beloved PBS television host Fred Rogers was to his puppets—specifically, Daniel Striped Tiger, the soft-spoken resident of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe who came to life in…
Two actors, one foot
By the time Lojo Simon’s One Foot opens March 14 at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, iDiOM Theater’s Dyo Festival—a five-week celebration of plays and stories for two performers—will be in full swing. We caught up with the playwright to find out what makes her tick. She’ll be in…