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West Ventura Focus

OJAI : City Gets Tuned Up for Annual Music Festival

June 04, 1993|SARA CATANIA

A quiet chaos pervaded Libbey Bowl on Thursday as Ojai geared up for its biggest annual production: the 47th Ojai Music Festival.

Festival director Joan Kemper scurried between the park and the festival office across the street, often communicating with her employees via walkie-talkie.

"The next couple of days take a lot of coordination skill," she said. "I've got my hands full."

There were tickets to be sold, concessions to be set up, lights to be hung and branches to be felled.

Kemper looked on with approval as a city worker with a long pole beat tufts of dead oak branches until they tumbled onto benches in front of the Libbey Bowl stage. They obstructed the path of a lighting tower, Kemper said.

Anticipating more than 4,500 festival-goers, the city has also increased and upgraded the bowl's power supply and added wheelchair ramps.

In addition to festival and city employees, nearly 100 volunteers will have contributed to making sure that the event runs smoothly by the time it ends late Sunday, Kemper said.

Volunteer Genaro Smart, 16, is selling concessions and conducting traffic control for the fourth year in a row.

"You run all over the place, and sometimes you get to listen to the music," he said.

The Nordhoff High School sophomore even gets class credit for his efforts. "It's neat," he said. "You get free music and two days off school."

The festival begins tonight at 8:15 with the Kronos Quartet and runs through Sunday.

Tickets range from $12 to $27. The 4:30 p.m. Saturday performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic is sold out, Kemper said.

For ticket information, call 646-2094.

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