There are fewer two-day street festivals in San Diego that we look forward to more than the annual Adams Avenue Unplugged festival -- and it's making its return to Normal Heights on April 25-26.
It seems to grow bigger and get better every year, and 2015 is no exception: Over 150 musical acts spanning genres like soul, jazz and funk to folk, indie-pop, country and Americana will line the avenue on 25 different stages over the weekend, while food vendors, shopping booths, entertainment and more blanket the two-mile stretch of bars, eateries and shops. Oh, and one of the other best parts about it? It's free.
Of course, its main focus is, as the name implies, the music. This year, headliners include Bauhaus' David J, Anais Mitchell, Hot Buttered Rum, Cody Lovaas (last year's San Diego Music Award-winner for Best New Artist) and Roosevelt Dime. Also, heading up the diverse bill? None other than Tim Flannery & the Lunatic Fringe.
You may recognize the name if you're a baseball fan, or if you spent any time following the Padres over the last 30 years. "Flan" (as he's known to fans) played 11 seasons with the Friars from 1979-89 and was the third base coach for the Padres, and then the San Francisco Giants until 2014. Typically, when baseball season would end, he'd fire up his musical side. This year, he records his eleventh studio album in 15 years. But after he retired last year, it's now what he does full time. Like the rest of us, Adams Avenue Unplugged is something he's looking forward to -- but it'll also be his first time going.
"I've never been able to attend because of baseball in the summer … but [I'm looking forward to] playing my hometown with my friends, and hearing all the other great friends of mine who are also playing it."
After touring and performing onstage with everyone from Jackson Browne, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, Bruce Hornsby and Garth Brooks over the years, he admits that San Diego holds a special place in his heart.
"I love it because many folks have watched me grow as a musician over the 20 years in town," Flannery said. "I love the Bay area, too. I'm in Redding right now, playing a beautiful theatre tonight. I just caught a huge trout behind the venue, so this doesn't suck. [laughs]"
And when you're talking to Tim Flannery, you've just got to ask about his thoughts on the current Padres team.
"They added some great pieces," he said. "Time will tell. The season is so long -- anything can happen."
You'll have two chances to catch Tim Flannery & the Lunatic Fringe during Adams Avenue Unplugged on Saturday, April 25 -- at the Church Stage at 1:30 p.m. and at 4 p.m. at the Adams Park at 35th Stage.
For the festival's full schedule and lineup, please visit the Adams Avenue Business Association's official website.