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August 6, 2008 > BandFest in Hayward

BandFest in Hayward

By Justine Yan

Bands4Bands, a bay area coalition of bands, has a mission to help "network by performances." For the past nine years, Bands4Bands has continued to provide band members and local fans an environment that values music, supports performers, and extends friendship to all those who share their vision. On Saturday, Aug. 9, Bands4Bands will host its Annual BandFest at Hayward's City Hall Plaza.

Pete Schaaphok, founder of Bands4Bands, said he was motivated to start the organization because of the negative competition he felt existed between bands. He recalled how, during larger shows featuring multiple bands, members of respective bands hardly knew each other. "I started this organization to try to get through all that because we can all try to be successful together."

There are now about 40 member bands within Bands4Bands who benefit by its network. Business card-sharing and mutual instruction is common. The fan base is "more spread out," and member bands located as far away as Southern California and Nevada help local bands set up shows while touring in less familiar regions.

"We have all styles of music; we're all doing the same things; we're all running into the same trials and tribulations; it's just different styles of music," said Schaaphok.

Monthly showcases are held by Bands4Bands, during which several bands perform for an audience composed of friends and fans. During the annual barbecue, "It's just all the bands getting together and having a good time, just having fun," said Schaaphok.

Bands4Bands tries to fit education and charity into the regular meetings, showcases, and festivals. In October and November, they organized a toy drive and a canned food drive. The BandFest will include the presentation of a $250 scholarship to a Bay Area high school senior who plans to attend college to major in music.

But what does it truly mean to be a part of Bands4Bands? Schaaphok responds, "It's a bit of pride, a little bit of honor. Bands4Bands is like a giant band, so it's like being in a bigger band; you get camaraderie, networking, friendships and work."

As a member of Bands4Bands, there are many resources to draw from and experiences to share. "You know, it's just not some band just floating along. You get a lot of direction, a lot of help, by being in this organization."

BandFest on Aug. 9 will feature: Sol Inocence, Tara Tinsley, Future Tripp, Phil Johnson, Hands of Time, Nockabeshi, Michael Musgrove, The Dukes, and Stunt Double. Most of the music will be acoustic or rock. "It's a special show," said. Schaaphok

In addition to music, the event will also feature a variety of vendors. Jewelry and other crafts will be sold, and food will also be available. Admission to this arts and music festival is free though silent auctions during the event will benefit Bands4Bands.

Schaaphok started Bands4Bands to promote local support for music. "My theory was if we got all the bands together, we can rebuild the scene ourselves - from within. There's no great story of one our bands moving on to big time, but we've had a lot of success just based on the fact that [our] name is out there." Many of the bands that have been part of Bands4Bands are independent labels and have now received national exposure. "People come to us all the time looking for help, looking to do a lot of things and see us as a tool to help them achieve that. That I think has been a success."

Schaaphok has given an open invitation to everyone to attend BandFest on Aug. 9. "It will be a lot of good music and a lot of good fun." He adds that this free event is an effort to make more people aware of great local musical talent. "[We] just try to get out here...make an event happen instead of sitting on our hands at home, we're trying to get out there and go to the people."

The featured bands at this year's festival include:
Sol Inocence
Future Tripp
Hands of Time
Michael Musgrove
Tara Tinsley
Phil Johnson
The Dukes
Stunt Double

Hayward City Hall Plaza
777 B St., Hayward
Sat., Aug. 8
1 p.m.
(510) 278.9695

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