How Fullerton's New Music Festival Was Inspired By the French

How Fullerton's New Music Festival Was Inspired By the French
Day of Music Fullerton window display at Mo's Music in Fullerton. Photo by Scott Feinblatt

Once upon a time, Fullerton's Hillcrest Park was the setting for celebrations that carried the youthful spirit of the Turbulent Sixties. Unfortunately for the disenfranchised, local residents didn't take all that rock and roll rubbish too well, and the City of Fullerton passed an ordinance which outlawed the use of sound amplification in the park. Due to the complaints and subsequent legislation, the park has remained relatively quiet since 1971. On June 21, all of that will change as a result of some inspiration that Glenn Georgieff brought back from France.

Approximately 25 years ago, Fullerton resident Georgieff and his family lived in France. It was there that he discovered Fête de la Musique, a citywide celebration of music. This was no mere travelling (or stationary) festival containing a number of stages filled with pop rock musicians; Georgieff recalls, "it was one of those things you would forget about until the day of the event. Then you were just pleasantly surprised when you walked out and there was music playing in different parts of town that you weren't expecting. And there was just that festival feeling."

While the festival originated in France, in 1982, it has since spread to over 700 cities in 120 countries, and after being additionally inspired by a music business friend, who organized the grassroots Bohemian Club Grove Festival, in Northern California, Georgieff was determined to bring Fullerton its own Day of Music. After hemming and hawing a bit, he got up the courage to start the ball rolling, and he contacted Michael Magoski (of Magoski Arts Colony) who initiated the rally cry of: "Why not?"

How Fullerton's New Music Festival Was Inspired By the French
Maurine Herberich

Before long, Georgieff was recalling his experiences and presenting his vision to the Fullerton City Council. His pitch included a number of auspicious considerations that involved a mingling of various community-based and American traditions. He says, "I tried to talk about it in the big sense: the churches, it's a Sunday, it's Father's Day, it's the longest day of the year, you know, things are sort of aligned for a festival like this to be successful, and surprisingly city council all just unanimously thought it was a wonderful idea. And I guess, like Caesar, the die had been cast."  

How Fullerton's New Music Festival Was Inspired By the French
Day of Music painting by Myra Bryan.

Georgieff's vision for Day of Music Fullerton is centered on three basic tenets of Fête de la Musique. It needs to be free to the public; anyone with an interest in participating is welcome to do so; and it must be organized within the guidelines of the hosting city. Georgieff's enthusiasm was contagious, and he soon found himself surrounded by a dedicated, hands-on Board of Directors, including Fullerton Foundry owner Corky Nepomuceno. A champion of Fullerton community and cultural events, Nepomuceno points out that while the locations where performances will take place are numerous, Day of Music will include 10 historical / landmark locations as venues, including: Plummer Auditorium, which will feature silent movies with live accompaniment on the Mighty Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ; the Muckenthaler Mansion, which is having its own annual Summer Solstice Festival in tandem with Day of Music; Fullerton Museum Plaza, which is featuring a number of programs -- including one called Kats & Strats, where anyone with a string instrument is welcome to step onstage and join collective jams to "Louie, Louie" and "Smoke on the Water;" and, of course, Hillcrest Park, where Burger Records will be holding the Burger Bowl, featuring performances by Audacity, Gap Dream, MELTED, and others. Naturally, there will be amplification.

Nepomuceno enthuses that some musicians will be travelling from as far away as Hawaii and New York in order to join the community effort and is proud to list John Easdale and Steve Noonan among the performers. Meanwhile, Georgieff emphasizes the homegrown nature of the event. He says, "[If you] just have a little bit of music in your day on The Day of Music, you've achieved what we want. If you want to go and play guitar on the front porch of your house, or play piano, or play kazoo, or, you know, walk up and down the street with an accordion, go right ahead and do it."

For more information on Day of Music Fullerton, visit their website.

See also: The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List

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