Arts and Entertainment

A music festival brings Vashon legends to the stage

Ron Hook of Subconscious Population will play Sunday. - Courtesy Photo
Ron Hook of Subconscious Population will play Sunday.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The fifth annual Vashon Island Music Festival will take place this weekend, starting Friday night and running through Sunday, at Paradise Ridge Park.

The festival, organized by Islander Ruben Arnot, will feature almost 20 different music acts. Many of the bands are comprised entirely of Islanders, while others have significant Island ties. And the people behind the scenes of the festival are also all locals: sponsors include Lollar Guitar Pickups, Vashon Print & Design and Wagons of Steel.

The headliners are hometown heroes  — the group Publish the Quest, fronted by Jacob Bain, who grew up on Vashon, and Subconscious Population, a locally revered ensemble led by Islander Ron Hook.

The festival, said Arnot, is always a laid-back affair.

“It’s for kids and dogs and grandparents, that kind of thing,” he said. “It’s a real casual, laid-back Woodstock atmosphere — just a nice afternoon in the park that’s close to home.”

Arnot, who grew up on Vashon, is deeply involved in music. He plays music, produces events and runs a sound equipment rental business.

He said he’d purposefully kept the festival small for the past five years.

“I realized Vashon couldn’t handle 2,000 people,” he said. “There would be a huge ferry line at Fauntleroy and a line all the way to town in Vashon.”

Instead, he’s focused on the music and giving local musicians a new venue.

“Bands here can play at Strawberry Festival and the Red Bike, and that’s about it,” he said. “This is another chance for them to play.”


The festival will begin Friday at 6 p.m. with the groups Ript, HRD LVN and Posse Impossible. On Saturday, the music starts at 1 p.m., with hourly sets by Red I, Gold Records, Black Diamond, VigalanteJustice, Manalive, Satchel, Witchburn and The Blue Tracks. Music starts again at 1 p.m. on Sunday, with sets by Tribal Voices, solo artists from Vashon, Dunk, Bossmosis, The 4 Horsemen and Radio Daddyo. At 6:30 p.m., Subconscious Population will play a two-hour set, followed by the final act, Publish the Quest, at 8:30 p.m.

All-day tickets are $15 at the gate or $10 with a donation to the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank. Overnight camping is available at the site.


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