From the founders of Beardfest comes Citybeard, a day long music and arts festival in Northern Liberties. Located at the Ukranian American Citizens’ Association (Ukie Club for short) on Saturday October 12, the festival will feature Beardfest crowd favorite Moon Hooch and a whole lineup of Philly musicians, artists, and workshops. The festival is organized by Out of the Beardspace band members Zach LoPresti, Sam Gutman, and Jeremy Savo. For more details about the upcoming festival, the zine spoke to guitarist Jeremy Savo, one of the Citybeard’s principal organizers and curators.
Since he was twelve years old, Jeremy knew he wanted to pursue a career in music. “I actually remember the first day of guitar class [in middle school]. I became completely hooked on it from day one,” he says. When he was 16, he started teaching private guitar lessons and has been offering classes ever since. Jeremy met his future Out of the Beardspace band members at the School of Rock, and toured with them for the first time in high school alongside professional musicians Jon Anderson (of the band Yes) and Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction).
Beardfest, the band’s annual music festival, started shortly after the members all graduated high school. It began as house shows in Zach’s parents’ backyard and grew into a three-day camping experience in South Jersey’s Paradise Lakes Campground. Now a serious, locally-recognized organization, Beardfest hosts friends’ bands and touring bands alike, enlists vendors from all over town, and showcases workshops and guest lecturers who round out a complete creative-immersion experience. “We’ve grown up with this festival,” says Jeremy, and after graduating from The University of the Arts in 2017, he decided it was time for the festival to expand. With Citybeard, Jeremy and the team hope to create a festival that’s more accessible to people living in the city they love, Philadelphia. “I’m interested in having something closer to the population center, easier to get to, and cheaper...while still being immersive, fun, and hopefully deeply meaningful to the community,” he says.
Except for headliners Moon Hooch, the rest of the bands performing at Citybeard are Philly locals. Experimental electronic/world music hybrid group WorldTown Sound System will perform, featuring Boom Room founder and engineer Gary Dann. “They’ve become part of the family,” says Jeremy. Another part of this big family is Johnny Showcase & The Mystic Ticket, a ten-piece absurdist soul outfit. “Johnny Showcase is such a big character,” says Jeremy. They play throwback funk with “amazing outfits, big stage personas, and hilarious antics.” Also featured in the lineup is zine alum and talented jazz singer-songwriter Taylor Kelly.
Aside from the music, Citybeard also hosts art exhibitions and workshops. Inspired by his time spent studying permaculture design in Costa Rica with Envision Festival co-founder Stephen Brooks, Jeremy wanted to add a social and cultural mission to the festival. He envisions Citybeard as not only being a music festival, but also “like a university, but in a really cool setting.” Workshop and vending coordinator Robyn Mello and the art team ROMPUS bring their educational resources to Citybeard and Beardfest, making this festival not only a place to hear music, but also to learn about it. One of Citybeard’s featured guests is music theory Youtuber Adam Neely who is leading a philosophical talk entitled “What Does Music...Like...Mean?” Citybeard will also be encouraging young music students from the educational charity Rock to the Future to attend the festival by offering free tickets to students interested in learning more about the music business.
Citybeard 2019 will be a beacon of music culture in the heart of the city. All our welcome to attend and experience music in a number of different ways. We’ll see you there on October 12th! Tickets are sold here: beardfest.net/tickets.