By Dany Recio
Other Side Drive
Music is always at the forefront of every festival, and that of course makes sense; but these music festivals work tirelessly in coordination with other organizations to highlight other forms of art and various charitable causes. Like the Other Side of Fun Fun Fun Fest.
The grounds of Fun Fun Fun Fest are crowded with not only it’s thousands of patrons but tents for vendors and eateries. One thing that was hard to ignore was colossal skate park constructed by the Taylor, Texas organization Loop. Loop stands for ‘Lessons On and Off Pavement’. One of the Loop Board Members Jake Carsten said it’s about getting kids real world experiences while they’re in High School. “It helps them figure what kind of career path they might want to take and make the connections to get internships in that field.” said Jake Carsten. While Loop supported the skate park last year; this year the organization actually coordinated the construction of the ramps and various bike shops to represent the skate section of the festival. “We want to continue to grow this section of the Festival for them.” Loop has been involved in many other events including Texas Toast Jam, Good Life, and Art and Shelter. Diana Ramirez joined during her junior year of high school and is now a college freshman majoring in Public Relations and Communications. She said “I would never have known so much about a career as I do now. I would definitely encourage kids to join.”
Along with helping support such a worthy cause; the festival highlighted other art forms besides the music. For the Fifth straight year they have featured a Graffiti mural provided by local artists. Such as Rei Alvarez who said “…this year we actually tried to do a little more than last and we actually built a whole—it’s a little more interactive—we built a whole square so it’s a little more interactive.” The art was a great showcase and took away from the onslaught of music. “It’s something different instead of just music all the time it’s just a little bit of something else going on. So people like it.” said Rei. The square was constructed and painted on site’ giving patrons the chance to watch the artists working within their element.
Among the vendors are many small business owners who are trying to grow their cliental with the exposure at the festival, but not all are trying to build a business. Many of the vendors were not-for-profit groups who were trying to raise awareness for their cause. Among the many not-for-profit groups featured was Krochet Kids. “All these hats and products are made by women and they sign their name on the tags on the inside. You can go online and hear their story and even write them a thank you.” The group began with a few curious boys who learned to crochet. Then one took an eye-opening trip to Uganda and realized that he could take this new hobby and help the woman of Uganda. “Women wanted to work and wanted to have actual jobs. They didn’t want just free aid anymore. So they taught the women in Uganda how to crochet; and now it provides them wages and there’s a mentoring and education system set-up for them.” What began as a just-for-fun project among the teenagers grew into a large organization helping provide woman in third world countries the opportunity to learn a job skill and apply it to provide for their family. Fun Fun Fun Fest is not the only music festival you can find Krochet Kids at. They’ve been everywhere from SXSW to Treasure Island in San Francisco, and they followed the Vans Warped tour across the U.S. this last summer. “We just try to go to as many things and get our name out there.” The cause is wonderful and beneficial to not only a few but hundreds of women, and their families. Krochet Kids has now expanded to helping the women of Peru now.
Fun Fun Fun Fest is not only a music festival; it is a community event. It not only features national acts but is a platform for some of the best local talent. It is and will be a location for not only artists but organizations to help spread the word about the work many of these individuals are doing.