IndieFest 2015: New Location, Big Lineup

Bear Hands headline IndieFest, the day-long music and arts festival in City Heights

Nina Westervelt

After taking a year off, San Diego’s IndieFest is back -- and with a new location.

The all-day music and art festival moves from Liberty Station in Point Loma to City Heights’ Urban Village this year and brings with it everything we’ve come to expect from the 10-year-old festival, including a killer lineup, community spotlights and dirt cheap tickets.

Taking the helm as headliner, the synth-ful Bear Hands come in from their Brooklyn homestead to close out the stage on March 28. Also performing are local loves and SoundDiego alumni Dead Feather Moon, co-founder Danielle LoPresti & the Masses, plus Todo Mundo (who won last year’s San Diego Music Award for Best World Music) and more than 30 others.

“We’re really excited about having the festival in an urban area again,” LoPresti, a City Heights resident, tells SoundDiego of IndieFest, which was once at home in North Park. “We’ve always had community involvement, but [City Heights] is a whole new level of awesome.”

While the film element of the festival is being temporarily suspended, IndieFest is introducing a mouth-watering culinary feature. Sponsored by the City Heights Community Development Corporation, the International Village Oasis will showcase a variety of cuisines that can be found in City Heights, reviving a bygone food fest the neighborhood hosted some 10 years ago. While VAP (Very Awake People) ticket holders will get free samples of all the delicacies-- Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Laotian, Mexican and more -- the food will be available for purchase as well, says festival co-founder Alicia Champion.

Also changing is the festival layout. In past years, there have been almost too many stages to navigate, so for 2015, LoPresti and Champion have decided to cut it down. “I think that there have been times when we’ve had so many stages it’s been almost overwhelming,” says LoPresti. “This year there’s three, so the event is a little more centralized.”

In the tradition of inclusiveness, this year’s IndieFest is offering free tickets to all City Heights residents and introducing a “pay what you can” timeslot, likely at the head of the fest, when people will be able to get in for whatever they can afford. “If you don’t have a dime to spend, we still want you to come out and have a good time,” Champion tells us.

The specific pay-what-you-can hours will be announced closer to the festival. As for the full lineup, Champion says they’re confirming those details on Monday in hopes of announcing the 30+ bands on Thursday.

IndieFest takes place on Saturday, March 28, in City Heights' Urban Village. General admission tickets cost $15 (children 12 and under get in free), and VAP tickets cost $40 -- both can be purchased here.

Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.

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