The Hurricane Music Festival, Real Music by Real Teenagers
September 3, 2013
As a freshman in high school, Steffan Salas and his brother started a band and wanted to start getting gigs. However, for such young musicians, doing so was difficult and almost impossible. Fast-forward two years to 2012, Salas had responded to the lack of serious outlets for young musical talent by organizing his own music festival exclusively featuring teenage bands: the Hurricane Music Festival (HMF). Salas is now working to put on this festival for a second time on September 7th between 2 and 5 PM. Salas described the lineup as full of “really talented… high level bands.”
“[HMF] is a place where high school bands can get a lot of exposure, sell merchandise, and have people come and watch them and find out who are the newest rising musicians in their community” Salas explained. “The main things that I wanted to incorporate [into the festival] were original music and all the bands have to actually be playing and actually singing; recorded music in a live situation has been becoming more widespread nowadays and I want [HMF] to be promoting live music.”
In hopes of fulfilling this mission of promoting live music made by teenage bands, the festival is free admission. Admission to HMF is able to be free of charge because it is funded by the city of Palo Alto through the Teen Arts Council, an initiative of the Palo Alto Children’s Theater, both of which have helped Salas organize and fund the event.
HMF is also host to the first city-sponsored skateboarding event ever to be approved by the city of Palo Alto.Taking place in Mitchell Park, a known skate spot for its concrete bowl, the festival will also double as a skate jam. Skateworks, a local company that recently moved from Redwood City to Mountain View, is the primary sponsor of the festival’s skate jam.
This added attraction will be a means of giving the festival’s bands more exposure.
This year four bands will be playing at the festival, Build the Empire, Headcreep, Remi & Chloe, and another that is yet to be determined.
The first band, Build the Empire, after closing the festival last year will be opening this year with their “alternative rock” music. “[The group] really really put a lot of thought into their music,” making it the type of music that Salas says is, “hard to explain, you kinda just have to see it.” You can’t see it here, but you can take a listen:
The second band, Headcreep (formerly known as Gravel), is a “punk influenced grunge band” from San Jose, returning to the Hurricane Music Festival for the second time. The group just released their first EP “Enjoy Your Cancer” (below) online and are currently searching for labels.
The final act, Remi & Chloe, is a duet from Palo Alto that will be performing with the Extracts. They play at a number of open mics and a few venues around Palo Alto and the rest of the Bay Area. To hear a live, original number by Remi & Chloe and the Extracts, take a listen below.
With the advertising he has been doing for the event up and down the peninsula in addition to the Skateworks-sponsored skate jam, Salas hopes to see a big turnout at the Hurricane Music Festival and ultimately introduce the Bay Area to some of the local rising musicians.