Candyman Strings & Things, the iconic Santa Fe music store, happens to be in its 50th year, so what better way to acknowledge two anniversaries at once than to throw a music festival locally, said Rand Cook, who co-owns the store with his wife, Cindy Cook.
“The year 1969 was a very important time,” he said. “The peace, love, live movement. Landing on the moon. The Vietnam War. Woodstock. All of these things were major markers in time.”
So, on Sunday, Sept. 22, The Candyman will celebrate it all with a daylong splurge of local bands doing their own music, followed by a tribute to songs from Woodstock, all at the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s The Bridge space.
While entry is free, the event is raising money for The Candyman Scholarship Fund, which assists lower-income music students to access musical programs, and Soldiers Songs and Voices, a local nonprofit serving U.S. military veterans and their families through a recovery program based on creative arts as a form of post-conflict care.
It just seemed like natural fit, Cook said.
“At the beginning of the year, we all sat down, all the management and ownership, to decide what we wanted to do,” he said. “We had a brain dump session thinking about how do you celebrate that because 50 years is a big deal. Came up with a lot of ideas and it just seemed like we absolutely had to do a music festival.”
Nobody in the store had every done anything like this before, but through trial and error, it has gotten done, Cook said.
“Energetically and financially, it’s been very difficult to put together,” he said. “But we kind of had a template from years past when we thought about doing something like this. We really wanted to do some kind of tribute to 1969, the year of our birth, and pay tribute to a very amazing period of time in our country’s history.”
And the milestone was too important to let slide.
“We have such an amazing team of staff and management,” Cook said. “We’re a music store, we don’t put on music festivals, so for all of us it’s been a real learning experience of how the mechanics of these things work. The amount of energy has been wonderful.”
The noon-to-6 p.m. portion of the festival will include the Mark Clark Drum Circle, Soldier Songs and Voices, NDRVS – a group that formed out of the The Candyman’s annual youth summer music program – the Pappy O’Daniel’s Porch Time Band, The High Vibes, John Francis and the Poor Clares, and Sabbath, a tribute band doing the heavy metal hits of Ozzie Osbourne’s old group.
The Woodstock tribute will feature Nosotros, Sunbender, BrotherSound, Little Leroy, CS&R and the John Kurzweg House Band, while a rotating flotilla of visiting musicians is expected to join in as the mood strikes.
“That’s going to be very cool,” Cook said.
Many vendors also will be on hand for face painting, hula-hoop making, a do-it-yourself tie-dye station, flower-crown making and hippie head bands. The vendors will contribute a portion of their proceeds to the fundraising effort.
A highlight of the evening should be a costume contest that local celebrities such as casting producer and producer Sheryl Roberts, musician Jono Manson and Santa Fe Brewing’s Pepe Loco will judge.
“It’s a really nice way to celebrate 1969 and to rally for a couple of really amazing causes,” Cook said. “It’s a great way to spend the last day of summer and a good way to celebrate a special time in our history.”