Bands clamor to play at festival

Jun 10 2010 - 9:49pm

Ron Atencio, the man in charge of music for the Ogden Arts Festival and owner/operator of the Ogden all-ages club Mojos Caffe and Gallery, suffered an embarrassment of riches when it came to the bands that applied for a spot on the festival's two stages this year.

"It is tough to choose," said Atencio, who works with several jurists to pick the acts involved. "There are so many awesome bands applying."

An acoustic stage and a band stage bring music to the festival from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. The focus of this particular festival is to keep the music local -- something Atencio and his committee did purposefully.

"That's one thing we really take pride in -- that we give local bands a chance to get on that festival stage. It is so hard for the young ones, especially, to break in. Keeping it local and spreading it through 20 acts instead of bringing one big act from out of state -- we like to do that. That way, they can all be headliners in their own way."

Atencio sees a lot of young bands come through Mojos, and he encourages many to apply when the festival rolls around.

"I do try and urge the bands that I see to apply, ones that I think have a chance of fitting the vibe of the festival, anyway," he said. "But it is always fun when I have surprising bands I have not heard, too. We get applicants from the whole region -- really exciting."

In 2009, rain dampened the festival's outside stage, though the music kept rolling inside.

"Last year, we muddled through. We put the outside stage up last year and kept the acoustic stuff indoors."

Atencio laughed. "We figured last year, with all the rain, that the weather just has to be in our favor this time."

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