Hollister resident envisions new annual music festival for Gilroy

Allyssa Marae

Allyssa Marae, a 22-year-old who was raised in Morgan Hill and now lives in Hollister, has a dream to host a music festival at the amphitheater of Christmas Hill Park in the heart of Gilroy.
“I want it to be like a small-scale Warped Tour,” said Marae, referring to the touring summer music festival, typically held in a makeshift amphitheater, that has up to 100 bands play for half hour time slots. “There’s not much for the 14 to 25 age group to do in this area and it would give kids an outlet to express themselves.”
As a full-time graphic designer, Marae works with musicians frequently and has designed logos, album covers, T-shirts and more for bands from all over the country. A number of these up-and-coming bands have already expressed interest in performing in Marae’s brainchild, the “Play Your Music Festival”.
“Some of my clients from Florida, Dallas and New York have reached out to me and said they will want to play,” Marae said.
That includes Strange Tides, a pop rock band from Hollister, she added.
A portion of the proceeds from the festival, anticipated to be held in May 2014, will go towards supporting the art and music programs at local schools in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. Marae has recently launched a campaign on Indiegogo – an international crowdfunding site where anyone can raise money for film, music, art, charity, small businesses, gaming, theater and more – to help fund the festival.
“I have a $3,600 goal with the Indiegogo campaign which will help cover the costs of snacks, beverages, venue fees, liability insurance, security fees and things along those lines,” Marae said.
Indiegogo gives the money raised to the host of the campaign, even if the total is not met by the campaign deadline. The Play Your Music Festival campaign is being held now through Sept. 8.
Marae recently ran her idea by Veronica Torres, Recreation Coordinator for the City of Gilroy, who said that the festival is most likely going to be approved.
“I’m thinking May would be a good time since high school students will be about to graduate and this would not interfere with the Gilroy Garlic Festival,” Marae noted.
Marae said money will be raised at the festival primarily through food, drink and band memorabilia vendors and that she has already made designs for shirts that she plans to sell. She said she wants to keep the cost of tickets for the festival low, approximately $10.
The festival is planned to be an all-day event ending at 11 p.m., which is when the park regularly closes to the public. Depending on how many bands sign up to play, each band will have a certain amount of stage time to perform.
Marae grew up in Morgan Hill and moved to Hollister during her teenage years. She attended San Benito High School and then went on to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles where she graduated with a degree in graphic design.
“Having gone to school in LA, that was a main music area. I love music and live concerts and so it brings it full circle for me to bring a music festival to this area,” Marae said.
Marae said she regularly attends concerts and listens to any genre of music. Music and the arts have been an outlet for her, and she’s excited to funnel her passion into something that residents in South Santa Clara and San Benito counties can enjoy.
“Hopefully if all goes well I can make this an annual thing with different charities for each year,” Marae said.
If you are interested in playing during the festival or would like to donate to the Indiegogo campaign, learn more about the Play Your Music Festival by clicking here.

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