Tacoma Hempfest 2011


Jul 25, 2008
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Here's to a bigger turnout then last yrs....Peace...



A lot can change in a year.
And a lot can stay the same.
For Tacoma Hempfest, returning for its second year this Saturday at Wright Park, both statements apply.
You may remember - it was only last year that all of this was new for Tacoma. On the last Saturday of June in 2010, Tacoma Hempfest founder Justin Prince likely looked out over a swath of humanity gathered at Wright Park - hippies, hip-hoppers, white-collar types and the simply THC-curious - and knew he'd accomplished something sizeable.
At the very least, Tacoma's inaugural Hempfest - which organizers estimate drew anywhere between 5,000 and 7,500 people throughout the day - succeeded in bringing a larger-than-expected number of marijuana proponents out of Tacoma's smoky closets and into the daylight of the park, where their numbers could be appreciated by the community at large. While unlike at Seattle's much larger and more established Hempfest celebration real, live pot smoking is not encouraged (or permitted) at Tacoma's younger version of the festival, the pro-pot stance is still palpable. There's a family-friendly element to Tacoma‘s Hempfest, not to mention all the usual medicinal, industrial and nutritional examples of hemp and marijuana's worth - coupled with a de-emphasis on actual toking (if for no other reason than to soothe the fears of the straight-laced and avoid getting gang-tackled by Tacoma bike cops) - but there should also be no mistaking what all of it is ultimately about.
"We support the full-on legalization of cannabis," says Kevin Heiderich, an organizing director of Tacoma Hempfest and part of Shock Treatment Management. Together with his mom, Cat Jeter, and Prince, the three members of a described "cannabis culture" have been working tirelessly for months to make Saturday's Tacoma Hempfest a reality. Mom and son booked the music, art and vendors. Prince - who made headlines shortly after the inaugural Tacoma Hempfest when the Tacoma Hemp Co. medical marijuana dispensary he owned was raided by Tacoma police and he was arrested (a controversial string of events that launched much medical marijuana drama in Tacoma) - is described as Tacoma Hempfest's "idea man."
Despite the fact that he's been jailed in relation to the medical marijuana cause, Prince shows no signs of letting off the gas when it comes to Tacoma Hempfest. He agrees with Heiderich's statement in support of full-on legalization, but, as the visionary behind the event, adds that the purpose of Tacoma Hempfest is bigger than promoting the recreational use of marijuana.
"The legalization aspect is pretty important overall, but the drive is actually more toward getting people to understand the benefit of the plant for industrial and medical uses more so than recreational ones," says Prince. "I see the purpose of Tacoma Hempfest primarily as a free speech and educational event. We are trying to change the public perception of cannabis culture to reflect the reality of who uses cannabis, daily. The medical use of cannabis in this state crosses all boundaries of race, creed, culture or vocation, and patients are tired of being stigmatized and misunderstood. ... We are not drug-addled addicts, just as those with opiate prescriptions aren't junkies. We go about our days thanks to the benefits of cannabinoid therapy."
Combining local art, music and food with a festival-like atmosphere full of glass pipe vendors, information merchants and guys and gals with and without dreadlocks and hacky sacks, Tacoma Hempfest tries to offer a little something for everyone - whether your intention is supporting the cause or simply having a good time on a Saturday afternoon. And, for the most part, the City of Tacoma plays along. Though organizers say Tacoma Hempfest has been required to increase the police presence by 25 percent at this year's festival (a cost that comes out of the Hempfest coffers), turn down the music to 86 decibels (a regulation that will likely apply to all Wright Park summer festivals this year) and work on picking up after itself (organizers admit failures on the garbage front last year, due to the larger-than-expected turnout), the folks behind Tacoma Hempfest haven't been blatantly told to go away, either. As long as organizers continue to play by the city's rules, Tacoma Hempfest seems here to stay.
"We're having to prove ourselves again this year with the city," says Jeter, with little-to-no discouragement in her voice. Though she personally wonders why Hempfest was required to increase police presence so substantially, classifying it as an alcohol-free event that had no reported trouble last year, Jeter almost gleefully paid the last of Tacoma Hempfest's fees to the city eight days before this year's event,
New to this year's Tacoma Hempfest, a "Homegrown Artists Alley" will offer a space for local artists to sell their handmade wares. Also of interest, and new to this year's festivities, is the "Go Green Information Exchange" area, where proponents will attempt to educate en masse about the many practical and environmentally beneficial uses of cannabis. Naturally, throughout the festival signatures will be collected on behalf of Initiative 1149, which would legalize marijuana for adults in Washington state, as well as for Initiative 1, a citywide effort to make cannabis related offenses the lowest enforcement priority for Tacoma police.
Jeter says she's especially excited about Tacoma Hempfest's two planned glassblowing demonstration stations.
"Very little, besides full legalization, could tickle me more than linking Tacoma's number one art form with cannabis culture," says the lifelong activist.
Musically speaking, thanks in part to the popularity of last year's event, this year Tacoma Hempfest organizers were inundated with submissions. After wading through hundreds of potential performers, of which Heiderich says, "We listened to every one of them," a unique approach was taken. Instead of scheduling performances by individual bands or acts, four hour-and-a-half-long "jams" were placed on the schedule, each genre specific, and each led by a well-known player in the local music scene. The leaders of the jams - Andrew Childs, Malcolm Clark, Big Wheel Stunt Show and Josh Rizeberg (who writes for the Volcano) - then invited a multitude of genre-similar guests to take the stage with them. (See the sidebar for Tacoma Hempfest's full musical lineup.)
Jeff Hamel of Puyallup's SweetKiss Momma, a band that performed at the inaugural Tacoma Hempfest, will also be a part of this year's mid-day rock jam led by Big Wheel Stunt Show.
"It was just this crazy mixing," says Hamel of last year's crowd. He expects more of the same this year. "Tacoma has a lot of pot smokers. Who knew?"
"I think the response (to Hempfest) is simply an indicator of something that's already in the community," says Heiderich. "That is that folks who support cannabis have been doing so extremely quietly, with their close friends, for a number of years. ... People are finally standing up."
"We are cannabis nation. This is us," adds Jeter. "This is everyone."
Tacoma Hempfest Music Stages

Saturday, June 25
Wright Park, Sixth and I Street, Tacoma
National Anthem
11 a.m.
Heather Heiderich from the Tacoma Community College Voices Ensemble
Tacoma Music Brunch
11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Host Andrew Childs
Invited guests: members of Trees Without Leaves, Hillbilly Jesus and The Fun Police
Rhythm and Blues Jam
1:15-2:45 p.m.
Host Malcolm Clark Band
Invited guests: The Tim Hall Band, Jeff Mason, Steve Sarandos, Terry Toprke, Darin Warren, Ike Sutton, Johnny Burgess, Glen Hummel, Kim Archer, Steven Cooley, Markal Harris
Rock/Hard Rock Jam
3:15-4:45 p.m.
Host Big Wheel Stunt Show
Invited guests: SweetKiss Momma, The Legend of Bigfoot with friends, members of Voxxy Vallejo, Van Conner of Valis, Kim Hamel
Brian Skitch, formerly of The Fun Police, James Coates, Brian Kiehl of Midnight Salvage Co., Adumb Green of The Hardcount, Heather Heiderich
Hip Hop Jam
5:15-6:45 p.m.
Host Josh Rizeberg
Invited guests: Jay Barz w/ a band, Motamouth Jones, City Hall, Q-Dot, Mr. Von, $krilla & Bounce of Platinum Ent., Darrious and Ryan C.


Jul 25, 2008
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"Tacoma has a lot of pot smokers. Who knew?"

REALLY???? U didn't know that...lol?!? right...

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