Railroad Square Music Festival – another successful year

On June 11, Railroad Square Music Festival continued with its third annual festival

Attracting over 5,000 people from all over Sonoma County. This fun and free event is open to all ages and allows people to venture around Historic Railroad Square where they can discover new music, connect with vendors and local businesses, check out artwork, and even grab a beer or two.

The festival featured 17 bands on seven stages

the band was not 10 minutes into their set before they were accompanied by some light rain and even hail!

My personal favorite was watching Earles of Newtown perform. A powerhouse Americana band from Nevada City, Earles of Newtown brought the party with their uplifting and energetic music. Taking into account of the weather, the band was not 10 minutes into their set before they were accompanied by some light rain and even hail! However, the on and off rain did not stop fans—including myself—from having a superb time. The party kept on and everybody enjoyed themselves as they danced in the rain together.

Although the weather may not have been on production’s side that day, Earles of Newtown, along with all of the other acts, did a wonderful job performing with the bipolar weather. Hometown Hero, David Luning, headlined this year’s RSMF alongside tone master John Courage. The back to back performances were a gift to many, as fans enjoyed the live entertainment from their favorite local rock stars.

Weather can’t dampen this party, photo by Philip Pavliger

A feast for the eyes

While adventuring around, I came across a street artist Erik Burke who was spray painting a mural. It did not take long for a crowd to start forming as he demonstrated his painting skills alongside paintings and drawings by many other talented artists. Ehler’s Society, a community organization of artists, filmmakers, photographers, and musicians, contributed the various handpainted signs and artistic installations. Every mural and painting was satisfying to the eye, leaving the festival looking like a piece of artwork itself.

In addition to admiring the displayed art, next to Burke’s set-up was a table where kids can sit down to color a picture and release the inner artist in them as well.

Let’s also not forget the different types of booths that businesses had out there

This is a great way for businesses to network with locals and get involved within the community. A great example would be The Last Record Store teaming up with KRCB North Bay Public Media. Their tents were side by side each other which stirred a lot of traffic as there was a lot of self-promoting to do. By working together, patrons were able to drive sales for The Last Record Store while being informed from KRCB about North Bay news and all of the other things related to the public media.

David Luning headlining RSMF, photo by Philip Pavliger

They don’t say “third time’s a charm” for nothing

Overall, Railroad Square Music Festival had a huge attendance which as a result, led it to being a real victory for us.

With the profound love for concerts and festivals growing rapidly everyday, there is still so much to learn and to incorporate in future shows. Fortunately with the great turn out, Railroad Square Music Festival has a lot of potential to grow and fulfill every aspect of what a music festival should be.


The 2017 Railroad Square Music Festival was off the chain! HUGE congrats and thanks to the incomparable Josh Windmiller, Second Octave and the entire Downtown Santa Rosa team for throwing an incredible event that makes us proud to call this town our home! While we didn’t shoot a ton, we did enough to create a RSMF SUPERCUT! #HailYes

Posted by Culture Pop Films on Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Nerds: The Gaff Tape of Festivals

You have to be kind of crazy to have a career in live entertainment.

Working double time, 3 or 4 days in a row. High voltage, high stress, big egos, big money, constant changes… it’s not for the sane and I ended up here pretty much by accident.

I started in Audio/Video club for 4 years in high school. Filming town meetings, documentaries for the city, skate videos for my friends, and other nerdy bored nonsense. I learned to shoot and edit, wire up systems, and get out of class to work on projects. I kind of forgot about those years, until I found myself back in it, working tech in event production, behind the scenes, surrounded by nerds.

There are so many moving parts that the more you know, the more useful you are.

I’m a vocalist, and my first band broke up in 2008. I needed to stay busy, so I started volunteering and interning, smartest thing I did for my career. Street promoting, radio promoting, selling merch… anything I could to stay active and get into shows for free. Through the friends I made, it eventually turned into stage managing, where my years around equipment came in really handy and I got sucked into the audio world. I currently work for Diversified Stage in Santa Rosa, specializing in lighting, audio, video, and staging. Our equipment and wiring is in almost every major music venue in Sonoma County.

Versatility is integral in event production.

There are so many moving parts that the more you know, the more useful you are. When I moved to Sonoma County from New England in 2012, I found that there are jobs here in the entertainment industry if you’re able to adapt and work hard.

Back home In Albany, NY in 2011, half the downtown shops were empty and boarded up. I couldn’t get a job making pizza. But here, on the edge of San Francisco, the economy is healthy, and demand for entertainment is high.

Producing shows is not easy

It’s risky and stressful. Always a gamble even if you’re established. For the first few years a promoter or venue can expect to lose a sizeable chunk of money or break even, if they’re lucky. Every part of this industry is made up of people, and people can be really unpredictable. The need for qualified, solution oriented, team minded, motivated people cannot be understated.

…when done right it’s like magic.

In a smaller community like Sonoma County, word travels fast, and over time people’s real intentions surface. I have three rules that apply to everyone who is employed or seeks employment in the performance industries. One: don’t be a Diva cuz no one person is the most important, without the cooperation of the entire team, all preparation will fall apart; and Two: If you say you will do something – DO IT – or find someone else to cover, cuz everyone is counting on you. And three; communicate. Answer emails, phone calls, and texts. Manage your calendar, and if you can’t stay on top of things, revisit your plans.

From an audience perspective, you would never know the amount of work that goes into some of these shows. It’s absurd sometimes, There must be some kind of masochism we all have in common. Bring an idea to life, even if it means working absurdly long days and being the first and last people on site. Golf carts, rental cars, networking, concert tickets and free travel are a bonus. This career is definitely not for the weak willed. The live entertainment environment has a unique offering of ominous disasters, but when done right it’s like magic. From backstage, it’s a machine of comradery, knowing that only team-work can bring the show to life.

Tech plays a critical role in nearly every aspect of this industry

It has become a necessary tool for sharing ideas and bringing people together all over the world. It allows people to reach huge audiences. For every wide eyed teenager seeing their favorite band for the first time, there’s ten nerds sitting behind cameras, sound boards and computers, making their dreams come true. From office, to planes, stages and semi’s… art, music, dance, theater, sports, politics…It seems like everyone plays a role in this industry. Or maybe it’s that in every industry, there is a place for us nerds, running things behind the scenes. Banded together by some weird compulsion to make magic happen.