By Alejandra Alarcon
Coachella, Calif. — The Eastern Coachella Valley has become a home for culture, music and arts for the entire country. Just as tens of thousands of people leave our area after attending the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, many others will stampede into the desert for Stagecoach Country Music Festival, also held at the Indio Polo Grounds and presented by Goldenvoice.
But there is still room for another music and arts festival in the Eastern Coachella Valley. The Hue Festival, organized and led by youth from the Eastern Coachella Valley, will take place Saturday, April 28, from 1 to 10 p.m. at Dateland Park.
The free family friendly event is sponsored by Goldenvoice, City of Coachella, The California Endowment and local businesses. The event is organized and driven by students from Coachella Valley and Desert Mirage High Schools, as well as community partners including Raices Cultura, FIRME, Esperanza Youth and Family Center, Culturas and Bienestar, to name a few.
“The Hue Fest brings unity that we desperately need in our community and it incorporates art,” said Karhen-len Lizarraga, a senior at Coachella Valley High School. “A lot of people don’t appreciate the arts.”
Festival headliners include Bocafloja, Code of Resistance, and Las Cafeteras.
The seed of the Hue Festival was planted by students from Desert Mirage High School who knew the importance of culture, music and art. Gabriel Perez, adult ally to the youth committee of The Hue Festival, said that the idea blossomed from a letter written by DMHS students interested in creating a music and arts festival. Now, youth leaders of the Eastern Coachella Valley are joining together for the second annual successful festival for their community.
With only a few days left before The Hue Festival, last minute art installations and checklists are being perused. There is more pressure for this year’s art to be bigger and better than last year’s.
“People are expecting more and better things,” Perez said.
The Hue Festival Committee has emphasized advertising this year, placing hand-painted billboards around town and drawing on the local media for support.
“This year we are getting a lot of attention. We don’t have much in the Eastern Coachella Valley, but The Hue is a popular festival. We have put a lot of time into this event,” said Neftali Galarza, a senior at Desert Mirage High School.
Most of the art at The Hue Festival is “found art” or art with a recycled theme. Due to budget constraints and environmental concerns, the artists used recycled objects.
“This year we’re kind of improvising using materials we have at hand. We’re just using our creativity. For example, we’re making sculptures out of tape and using plastic water bottles to hang around with Christmas lights,” Lizarraga said.
Though the entertainment is the main event for The Hue Festival, the youth on The Hue Festival committee have many things to take care of to make the event happen.
“We have to make sure permits are all turned in, make sure things are approved by the city. We have to rent chairs, vendors, and restrooms,” said Eduardo Gonzalez, senior at Coachella Valley High School.
The countless hours of work for The Hue Festival Committee will all pay off when the second annual Hue Festival takes place Saturday, April 28.
“Meeting new people and working with them, getting the experience and becoming exposed to all these different situations that have to be taken care of, and of course, making a difference in our community is very rewarding,” Gonzalez said.
For more information about The Hue Festival, visit www.thehue.us.