Bonnie Tamblyn is the driving force behind The LOOP, a music festival in June Lake Aug. 19-21. During the festival she’ll play with her friend and fellow musician Tom Nolan. (Photo courtesy Tamblyn)
June Lake LOOP holds second annual music festival, puts itself on the map
It may be the “little village that can” according to Bonnie Tamblyn, but there’s nothing little about June Lake’s upcoming music festival. Tamblyn, co-founder and driving force behind the June Lake Loop Mountain Music Festival, or The LOOP, has high hopes for the future of the town and the event.
The LOOP, now in its second year, was conceived in 2007 when Tamblyn reunited in June Lake with her band, Blue Heaven, for a celebration of everyone’s 60th birthdays.
“We had such a good time that we wanted to do it again,” said Tamblyn, who lived in June Lake as a little girl and created one of the first live bands in the area called Blue Heaven and the Rainbow Girl. [The band landed a record deal with Epic Records but unfortunately, according to Tamblyn, nothing ever panned out because disco became popular.]
As with many great ideas, however, the notion to relive the musical reunion and turn it into something bigger took a little controversy before it stuck. An article in a 2009 issue of Westways Magazine was ultimately the spark that fueled Tamblyn, and the entire community of June Lake, to seek recognition of the home they love.
“The article was all about touring the 395, but June Lake was completely left off the map,” Tamblyn explained. “I wanted to make sure something like that didn’t happen again so I decided we should have a music festival.”
So, with the help of her good friend Candy Logue of June Lake’s Sierra Inn, The LOOP was born in 2009 and included a great lineup of music and events. This year, when The LOOP returns to town Aug. 19-21, it will be even bigger and better with June Mountain Ski Area as an added venue.
“Each place is its own venue and then we string them all together as the festival,” Tamblyn explained. Other venue sites include the Double Eagle, the Sierra Inn’s T-Bar, and June Lake’s Community Center.
So what about the music? According to Tamblyn, the line-up they’ve pulled together offers music for all ages, plus a good blend of local and visiting bands. If The Standells, who play the festival on Saturday, weren’t your generation you may be interested in that evening’s Indie Night where Gliss, CR Avery, and Emily Wells will fill the evening with the best contemporary Indie music in the Eastern Sierra. Local bands on the roster include Fiddlin’ Pete Watercott, The Trespassers, Flashback, Jeff Lee and Oh! Ridge, and Jeffrey James and the Wanted Gang.
Also on the weekend’s lineup are music camps for kids, a songwriter’s showcase, poetry readings, and a wine tasting and song pairing at Double Eagle with Tamblyn and her good friend and fellow musician Tom Nolan. [Nolan’s son, Jesse also performs in the festival with his band Red Arrow Messenger.}
“We do the wine tasting in a circle format where the audience gets to participate,” Tamblyn explained. “It’s a type of storytelling where we ask the audience what song each tasting reminds them of and then Tom and I play the song.”
Tamblyn realizes there is also a festival of wine going on in Mammoth that same weekend, but feels the two events will attract different types of people.
“We chose that weekend for our event because it is a slow one in town and we wanted to get people here,” she said. “We are the alternative to Mammoth.” Tamblyn hopes that those people in town for the Mammoth Festival will head over to June Lake to check out The LOOP, and vice versa.
The LOOP is being produced by Tamblyn’s daughter, Amber, who many may have seen in movies like “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” or the television series “Joan of Arcadia,” and June Lake’s own Gull Lake Marina. The Write Now Poetry Society, as well at the Mono County Tourism Commission are also supporting the event. Proceeds from The LOOP will go to the June Lake Loop Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.
Tickets for The LOOP are on sale now through Aug. 17 at www.junelakemusic.com. After Aug. 17 tickets will be available at the doors of all venues.