Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

You review: Spanspek Music and Arts Festival

Orosi is just a dot on the map a little south of Fresno and west of Dinuba (but not quite to Orange Cove). It’s the type of small agricultural town that defines the Central Valley, but doesn’t get much attention.

It’s also home to the Spanspek Music and Arts Festival, which held its 8th annual event last Friday.

Spanspek was started by two local guys who were passionate enough about art and music to recognize there were no outlets for that kind of creativity in their hometown. So, they created one. One that’s lasted for almost a decade.

The festival works on multiple levels.

For the locals in attendance, Spanspek is an opportunity to see (and participate in) live music and art — something that’s not always easy to come by in a small town. For those coming in (performers from Fresno or Visalia let’s say), it’s a chance to see (and participate in) a part of community they may have never seen before.

That is all secondary benefit.

The reason the festival is worth going to (or even talking about) is that it consistently puts together a solid lineup of bands and artists. Organizers pay close attention to the local scene and choose performers that are relevant and happening, often before the rest of us catch on. Previous bands have included Achievement House, The Argyle Pimps, Collecto, Sahab, Strange Vine and Tokyo Death March.

This year the lineup included Le Wolves, Tyrannosuarus Zebra (making its second appearance at the festival) and Slow Season, a band that delivered what might be the night’s standout performance. They were a last minute addition to festival (replacing Strange Vine) and killed it with their speed-cooked psychedelic rock, though Orosi’s own Macondo was the crowd favorite with its chill cover of “No Diggity.”

Were you there? If so, what did you think? Which band made the most impact on you? Did you get to try the experimental quesadilla bar (the installation art piece from Teresa Flores)?

You can check out a quick video compilation on the jump (Kooleidoscope, It’ll Grow Back and Werebear not shown, with apologies) along with an interview with the festival’s creators on the latest Flowing with Famous podcast.

Responses to "You review: Spanspek Music and Arts Festival"

Angela Ruiz-Alvarez says:

It was awesome! Wonderful display of arts and music from the community! Thank you for the dedication and hard work u two put into this event! Looking forward to next years event.

hilary says:

This was my first time at the festival and it was a lot of fun. The experimental quesadilla lab was a brilliant idea, and the quesadillas were very tasty and inventive. Le Wolves was perfect. I’m looking forward to seeing what they develop into. Macondo’s cover of Blackstreet was amazing. But more importantly, it was inspiring and uplifting to see a festival like this in a little town I’d never been to.

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