Where can you find an event that includes burlesque shows, interactive theme camps, carnival games, live music, vaudeville, swimming, dancing and clay wrestling—not to mention an off-road derby? It’s the fifth annual Sh’Bang!, an event described as “a festival of ideas” that takes place at the creative hub known as the Lookout Arts Quarry. We caught up with organizer Zack Armstrong to find out more about the three-day festival of fun.
Cascadia Weekly: So this is year number five for the Sh’Bang. What’s changing, and what’s staying the same?
Zack Armstrong: The biggest change this year is camping! We added it! We’ve kept the soapbox race, but there’s a new track with a brand new water obstacle. There are more workshops than ever, and a new kid’s area with a story fort. And still the same old circus fun, and music, music, music—more bands than ever before.
CW: Why is this a good way to wave goodbye to summer?
ZA: We prefer to think of it as saying “hello” to fall.
CW: What’s the beer-smashing event all about? What about the all-ages knife-throwing game?
ZA:These are dangerous activities.
CW: Can you explain a little bit about the “festival of ideas” moniker?
ZA: This is just a way of saying that this festival doesn’t really have a theme, or rather that the theme is an openness toward any theme you can imagine and as many as you like. The whole Sh’bang, if you will.
CW: Your website didn’t reveal much info about the workshops. What are some of the selections?
ZA: Juggling, dance, fort building, sign language, how to take apart and rebuild your computer, bicycle maintenance, wood chopping, fermentation and more.
CW: How many derby participants do you have signed up?
ZA: There are six entrants so far, with some last-minute possibilities still in the design phase. But if you show up with a car on Friday—you’re in.
CW: Describe a perfect day at Sh’Bang, please.
ZA: A perfect day at Sh’Bang is filled with good tunes that are carried by a light breeze, and every face returns your smile. The circus performances are daring and fun, the crystal-clear water is the perfect temperature, and everybody learns at least one new thing they can carry with them.
CW: How many people does it take to pull this off?
ZA: It takes anywhere between 50 and 100 people to pull off this event, but every person who walks through the gates is a vital part to the greatness of the weekend.
CW: What else is happening at the Lookout Arts Quarry of late?
ZA: Improvements and working on new permitting to make this space bigger and better than ever.
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