The 253 Heart Music and Arts Festival kicked off Wednesday with its biggest lineup to date, and will continue through Saturday, Nov. 24 at the Harmon Brewery and Harmon Taproom. It's the festival's third installment, and organizers hope to find their niche this time around.
The musical fundraising event started in the fall of 2010, with most performances taking place at Tacoma’s Harmon Taproom. A few months later, it sought to fill the void left when the Wintergrass bluegrass music festival defected from Tacoma to Bellevue and held the second 253 Heart Fest in February, with disappointing results.
“It didn’t wind up being the best timing for us,” recalled principal organizer Ben Fuller. “That week, it was icy out. Some of the locations that we had were on hills. So the amount of people showing up to it was a little lower than we hoped. It wasn’t a disaster necessarily. But it just wasn’t as good as the first one.”
This time, organizers are trying Thanksgiving weekend, and they’re encouraging attendees to bring non-perishable food donations for the Emergency Food Network, a group that has provided such items to needy Pierce County residents since 1982. (See www.efoodnet.org.)
“We want to get the right time and the right kind of benefit that people would want to look forward to every year,” Fuller said. “Around the holidays, everybody kind of likes to give to either the food banks or Toys For Tots. So we’re trying to do the food bank stuff this time and see how it works so we can actually go forward with making it bigger the next time around.”
The set times haven’t all been firmed up yet but here is the lineup for this year’s festival. Check the event’s Facebook page for updates.
Friday, Nov. 23
Harmon Taproom: Underground, Halcion Halo, Tin Man, Blanco Bronco, The Bog Hoppers, Thunders of Wrath, Sean Michael’s Kight, Reji LeFleur, White City Graves. Acoustic stage: Nick Deonigi, Eric Thomas, Stoned Evergreen Travelers
Harmon Brewery, 1938 Pacific Ave.: Monday Ukulele Ohana, Jasmine Parker, Raymond Hayden, Leah Tussing, Eddie Mendoza
Saturday, Nov. 24
Harmon Taproom: In the Between (6 p.m.), Amelia Circle (6:45 p.m.), The Lush Tones (7:30 p.m.), The Trasholes (8:15 p.m.), The Variety Hour (9 p.m.), A Leaf (9:45 p.m.), Blacstahl (10:30 p.m.), Bodybox (11:15 p.m.), Rikk Beatty Band (midnight)
Acoustic stage: Evan Purcell, Gene Vallejo, Joe Rosati, Kody Ryan, Jeanlizabeth, Jake Nannery
Harmon Brewery: Deborah Page, Two Cities, Rafael Tranquilino