Above: San Diego based band Viri y Los Bandidos got festival goers pumped up early in the day. (Image: Paulina Rojas/ Coachella Unincorporated.)
By: Paulina Rojas
MECCA, Calif. — On Saturday, residents from all over the eastern Coachella Valley gathered at the Mecca Community Park to celebrate art, music and culture at the Fifth Annual The HUE Music and Arts Festival.
The event was planned entirely by the Youth Organizing Council (YOC) of Building Healthy Communities Eastern Coachella Valley (BHC ECV). Planning The HUE was a way for the young people be civically engaged, according to Victor Gonzalez, civic engagement manager and youth coordinator for the YOC.
“We try to make sure that we do it with an art component, art can be used as activism, so that’s what The HUE is about,” said Gonzalez.
Although it was a windy day, festival-goers were treated to live music on two stages, art displays by ECV youth and food provided by North Shore residents. In the Crisalida trailer, people viewed paintings and poems created by students at Toro Canyon Middle School, and there was a photo sideshow celebrating community ‘changemakers’ that was created by youth from the YOC and Coachella Uninc. reporters.
At it’s core, The HUE represents something much bigger than just a concert, according to Juliana Tabuada, a freshman at Desert Mirage High School who was also part of the YOC.
“I think events like this bring the community together, it shows unity that we have and that’s really important,” said Tabuada. “I hope [The HUE] is something that becomes something as big as ‘Coachella,’ where anyone from the valley can come and just enjoy and be a part of this.”
More than 11 community organizations, like Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo and TODEC Legal Center, were also at the event to help connect festival-goers with local resources and programs. Helping the people of the eastern Coachella Valley get more involved in their community is the true mission of the festival.
“The HUE is a place where we try to learn about our culture and embrace it, but it’s also about how do we make it better,” Gonzalez said. “That’s why we have all of these organizations here to make sure people know what is going on in their community.”
About the author:
Paulina Rojas joined Coachella Uninc. as a beat reporter in February 2016 after working as a city reporter in the eastern Coachella Valley for more than a year. Although born and raised in New York City, Paulina feels right at home in the eastern Coachella Valley. She loves the warmth of the people and buying fresh bread from her favorite bakery in downtown Coachella. Paulina is a graduate of the University of Houston, and her work has appeared in The Las Vegas Review – Journal, The Houston Chronicle, HelloGiggles and Vivala. View her author page here.