Music, video projections, food trucks, film screenings, vendors, and boxing and jousting arenas all will be part of the City Different Festival tonight and tomorrow at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Wait a minute … boxing and jousting arenas?
Don’t worry. They’re designed so that people can have fun while suffering minimal damage – preferably no damage at all, according to Chris Grigsby, head of THE student-run Tonedeaf Collective, which is organizing the festival.
People in the boxing arena will be wearing an inflatable suit (something like the Michelin man) and oversized boxing gloves, explained Charles Austin, another member of the collective. “It’s totally safe,” he said.
And people in the jousting arena will be hoisting what look like giant Q-tips, he said, trying to knock each other off platforms – the kind of thing you might have seen on the TV game show “Wipeout.”
It’s all part of an effort both to get college students together and also bring in members of the community who may have little interaction with what happens on the campus, Grigsby said.
“It’s a nice middle ground,” he said. “We can get people from the south side up here, as well as those from downtown. They can see what young people are doing and (students) can connect with the community.”
The hope also is to attract students from St. John’s College, the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe Community College and the Higher Education Center so they can mingle and get to know each other, said Grigsby, a film major from Grand Junction, Colo. Also, it’s nice to get students from different departments at SFUAD to interact, he said.
Five performers and video art displays will be featured from 5 to 11 tonight, while, from 3 p.m. to a little after midnight on Saturday, around 10 bands will perform. Vendors will be on-site from 3 to 7 p.m.
Food trucks will stop by, and there will be informational booths, including those for voter registration and others offering everything from zines to LGBTQ issues to Planned Parenthood leaflets, said Austin, also a film major, from St. Louis.
All of the events are free and centered on the Quad, except the Student Filmmaker Showcase, which will begin in The Screen at 2 p.m. for a $10 ticket (free with a valid student ID).
The showcase was developed by the New Mexico Film Foundation in conjunction with post-secondary institutions from around the state that have film or digital media programs. The best of their submitted videos – none runs more than 15 minutes – will be presented in the showcase.
The films also will be screened at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Violet Crown Cinema, 1606 Alcaldesa St., for the same admission price.
“Each film school usually has its own student film screenings, but this showcase will allow students to see work that other students are doing around the state,” Dirk Norris, executive director of the Film Foundation, said in a news release.
The City Different Festival is partly a reaction to the Outdoor Vision Fest, an evening that offers an abundance of art projected on buildings and more, and Quadstock, a day of live band performances, that took place last May at the university, but were hampered by low temperatures, rain and wind, Grigsby said. “This time, we’re pulling for better weather,” he said.
Tonedeaf Collective produced Quadstock last spring and also has put together events at Ghost, an underground performance space in the Siler District.
And about that name … .
“There is so much pressure to sing a certain note and hit it exactly,” Austin said. But not everyone can sing perfectly. The collective’s gestalt is to “be true to your inner voice and not bend to societal pressures.”