Santa Fe Tradfest regains its powers, and it might even be stronger than ever
According to Santa Fe Tradfest organizer Dave Dillman, the annual gathering of traditional music performers and enthusiasts is all about “expanding acoustic music.”
If expansion is the goal, y’all can already consider 2022′s upcoming weekend-long event a success: Tradfest has one of its biggest lineups ever, and that includes performances, workshops, stuff for kids, jams, panels, hangouts, food, camping and more.
“As opposed to a festival where you just go and listen and that’s all you do, we’re a participatory festival,” Dillman explains. “Say they want to come because they want to listen to some Balkan singing and then take a workshop in Three-Finger banjo; the whole deal is that it’s really a community.”
To achieve this level of community is no small feat. This year, for example, features many acts across three days, including local projects like New Mexico string band Lone Piñon, legendary bluegrass champs Mystic Lizard and storyteller-singer-songwriter David Berkeley, plus out-of-towners like Austin, Texas-based Irish music revelers The Here & Now, Silver City Cajun-adjacent duo Bayou Seco and so many others. That’s not even mentioning kids’ workshops from the Queen Bee Music Association, plus food trucks such as New Mexican-focused Gerardo’s ¡Andale!, Busy Bee Frozen Custard and Good as Feast’s Greek and Middle Eastern options. It’ll be good for the casual fans, but also the more diehard traditional music lovers who have been onboard since the festival began in 2017.
“During the pandemic, the only way to experience music was through computer speakers,” says fiddle player Karina Wilson, who’ll share the stage with Mariachi Sonidos del Monte and David Berkeley during the fest. “I could see the knots our minds tie when we have too much time to think...[at concerts] you can almost see those melting away, and people relax a little bit more.” (Alex De Vore)
Santa Fe Tradfest: All Day Friday, Aug. 26-Sunday, Aug. 28. $25-$75 (kids under 18 free; bunkbeds $10 per night). Camp Stoney, 7855 Old Santa Fe Trail, santafetradfest.org
Though the public has likely grown tired of stories touting the return of things that hit the pause button during the earlier days of the pandemic, there’s a certain good feeling that comes with talking about the return of events that have lain dormant. Enter Meow Wolf’s usually annual Monster Battle event, which returns to the Plaza this week after two long, monster-free years. Essentially, the Monster Battle is a family-friendly dance party featuring DJs Snaggy and Spoolius, whom you know are set to pump out the hottest and weirdest jamz. On top of that, find one of the more creative costumed gatherings ever around—a chance for kids and adults to dress weird and “battle” the other monstrosities from who even knows what dimensions. Oh, and PS? It’s free. Fight! (ADV)
Meow Wolf Monster Battle: 6 pm Thursday, Aug. 25. Free. Santa Fe Plaza, 100 Old Santa Fe Trail, meowwolf.com
Zos Before Bros
We’re starting to get close to that time of year where we burn a puppet at the stake to symbolically ditch our doom and gloom, and if you’re eager to incorporate medievalist murder LARPing into your life earlier than the upcoming 98th Burning of Zozobra on Sept. 2, look no further than the Santa Fe Place mall. Starting Friday evening, you can you can be among the first to meet this year’s Old Man Gloom. Well, his skull at least. Venture over to the west side of the mall, where Santa Fe’s weirdest character awaits before he’s transported to Fort Marcy Park to meet his fiery destiny. Did we mention this year’s Zozo is totally ‘90s-themed as part of the event’s Decades Project, which finds the nefarious monster themed for a different decade at each yearly burning? This week you can take selfies, check out the Zozo-inspired art and, perhaps most critically, stuff his cranium with all the glooms you’ve been saving up this year. Failing that, you can drop your gloom at SFR’s offices at 1512 Pacheco Street, suite D105. (Riley Gardner)
ZoZoFest 2022: 6-8 pm Friday, Aug. 26, 10 am-6 pm Saturday, Aug. 27 and noon-4 pm Sunday, Aug. 28. Free. Santa Fe Place Mall, 4250 Cerrillos Road. burnzozobra.com/zozofest
We’re Dune Summer Right
The spice capitals of the galaxy are Santa Fe and Arrakis. One of sci-fi’s most complex and beautiful worlds—which also features characters named Paul and Duncan Idaho for whatever reason—hits the real world this week, and if you missed this summer box-office and Academy Award-winning smash hit Dune, the Railyard Summer Movie Series is here to offer a remedy. In the new, non-David Lynch version, young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and his family take control of the Sahara-like planet Arrakis, which holds a precious resource called “spice” that powers literally everything. But holding the planet is no easy task when every fief in the universe wants to rule the fuel. Remember the days when summer blockbusters were not the same franchise movies remade over and over and over again? Anyway, Oscar Isaac is in it, and he’s super-hot. (RG)
Dune: 8 pm Saturday, Aug. 27. Free. Santa Fe Railyard Park, 740 Cerrillos Road. ampconcerts.org