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Carlsbad residents listen to the Dapper Bandits kick off the Carlsbad Music Festival on Friday at the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Eclectic line up bolsters successful music festival

CARLSBAD — Beats and melodies rang through Carlsbad Village as part of an annual tradition.

The Carlsbad Music Festival welcomed artists from the eclectic to the mainstream as part of the 13th annual rendition.

Founder and Carlsbad native Matt McBane and his staff organized dozens of acts performing at numerous locations throughout the Village. The event also featured a beer garden, food trucks and an artisan market.

“It was a big success,” McBane said. “We had really big crowds and people seemed really enthusiastic.”

The festival underwent a format change, moving its center stage to St. Michael’s By the Sea Church, which allowed for larger audiences. The additional space was also used for the beer garden and food trucks.

Of course, many artists took comfort at State Street and Grand Avenue, where the music sliced through the air, catching those eating and shopping nearby.

“The mix of music we had was so eclectic,” McBane added. “There were a lot of really great performances.”

As for the music, McBane’s gathering of artists was once again a hit.

Trouble in the Wind has developed a solid Carlsbad following and was one of the bands to close out the festival, McBane said. Adding to the mix was the G Burns Jug Band, a collection of five musicians belting out old-timey American music such as urban blues and mountain fiddle of the 1920s and ’30s.

In addition, the Namad Trio was one of the surprise hits with their collection of Persian classical music.

“It was one of my favorite musical moments,” McBane said of the trio. “They got a standing ovation and did a couple of encores.”

As the years have gone by, the festival has become part of the fabric of the city. Each year McBane said the event aims to grow and reach more people, although the festival relies on donations during the year and solid attendance.

However, since McBane relocated the hub of the event to the church, he said discussions have taken place with the Army and Navy Academy to add its campus into the mix.

As for the church, McBane said the new location fits perfectly with growing the event.

“It’s right by the beach and we were able to have food trucks, a marketplace and a playground for kids,” he added.

“It’s more festival-like with all the different things you can do.”