The bases are loaded for a second at-bat by the 319 Music and Arts Fest, filling seven stages at Diamond Sports Park with music and artistry, mainly from Eastern Iowa’s 319 area code.
The event scored a home run last year, and is returning with more than 80 visual artists, creative vendors, musicians and performers, as well as food, a strobe-light bounce house, educational seminars and a 20-foot art wall where attendees can leave their mark. Bands jump the genres, from rock, acoustic and electronic to hip-hop, hard-core, metal and performance art. Attend a fashion show or one of two Artist Academy question and answers sessions: Rockstar 101 and Artworks 101.
Surf Zombies and MOvMNT dancers from Cedar Rapids will be there, along with Cynergy 67 from Madison, Wis., The Projection from Chicago and Insomniac Folklore from Portland, Ore., and, oh, so many more, presented by Nexus Entertainment Arts, a non-profit group formed in 2002 to support and develop emerging artists and musicians in the Cedar Rapids area, and Jackbox Productions.
“Nexus is constantly looking for new ways to support the local arts and music community,” says organizer and Nexus Entertainment Arts founder Jason Zbornik. “The thing we are most excited about with this year’s festival is the diversity of talent. This isn’t a rock festival. This isn’t just an art show. It’s not just the celebration of the creative spirit. It’s all of that mashed together into one big event, with a huge tent for all the artists, vendors and multiple stages of musicians.”
That was the goal of the inaugural event last summer. He founded the daylong event showcasing more than 40 bands on six stages — among them Knubby, Violent Intent, and the Surf Zombies from Cedar Rapids, Item 9 and the Mad Hatters and Final Alibi from Iowa City — to raise awareness of area artists.
The action runs from 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Hitter’s Ballpark, at the corner of Highway 13 and Mount Vernon Road in Cedar Rapids. Food and drink will be for sale.
— Hilary Mahoney