The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Thousands flock to Bamboozle Left music festival in Pomona

As the temperatures dropped lower and lower Saturday night at the Bamboozle Left music festival, the kids spread across the field found various ways to keep themselves warm. Some of them were wrapped in blankets they had laid out on the grass. Some were jumping up and down and kicking the air in time to the music. Others were at the vending booths buying a sweatshirt from their favorite band. The most common method for keeping warm, however, was to crowd close to the stage. There, the lights and combined body heat of thousands made the temperature and everything else in the world feel just right.

There were approximately 3,500 people, mostly high school and college age, gathered together Saturday for the Bamboozle Left, a two-day music festival held on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona, according to Johnny Nevarez, who had served as a ticket collector at the front gates all day. With more than 60 bands, including well-known names such as Dashboard Confessional, BrandNew, Jack’s Mannequin and Sugarcult, and 30 vending booths selling everything from food to clothing, the event was a huge success on many fronts.

“We didn’t know what to expect and it is absolutely incredible,” said Russell Hornbeek, founder of Music Saves Lives, an organization at the festival with the mission to combine a passion for music with life-saving causes. The only “vendor” of its kind, the Music Saves Lives booth was set up near the entrance and, at the end of the first day, was able to sign up about 150 people for the bone marrow registry, according to Hornbeek.

“Today, here we are reaching out to the students to come in and register for the bone marrow registry that reaches around the world and what they’re doing specifically is signing up and we’re taking about a teaspoon of blood so that we can type-match it and they are added to the registry so that if somebody needed (the marrow) and ends up being type-matched we can give them a call and say ‘Come save someone’s life,'” said Hornbeek.

While other booths were set up to sell and make a profit, Hornbeek and his booth were at the festival to give away bottles of juice and offer kids a chance to make a difference in the lives of others and, according to him, the event had so far been incredibly worthwhile.

He wasn’t the only one to have felt this way about the festival. Many of the fans seemed to be enjoying the show as well as the various booths.

“I think Bamboozle is the perfect festival. It’s a lot more scaled down than Warped Tour. There’s room to walk around,”said Camille Olivier, a 21-year-old student at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood who was standing toward the middle of the field with a group of friends. “I think it’s really successful this year.”

Mo Valle, an 18-year-old Chaffey Community College student, was really excited to have seen Gym Class Heroes earlier in the evening. “I love indie and I love hip hop and to see them together is the greatest thing for me. It’s like two of my greatest passions in one stage and that’s why I love it so much,” Valle said.

The community feel among the crowd was evident as groups chatted with people standing around them and friends greeted each other from a distance.

“A lot of people that are here today were on Warped Tour so it’s kind of like a big reunion. Everybody’s running around and saying ‘hi’ to everybody,” said Katie Alec, who had been there all day working at the Atticus Clothing booth.

Brendan Klein, also with Atticus Clothing, added that the crowd was much more enjoyable than that of the Warped Tour because the atmosphere was more mellow and the festival was much more organized.

The feeling of community was most evident when, at the end of the night, all stages but one shut down and Dashboard Confessional donned the stage. With his trademark performance, widely-adored songs and dedicated fans, singer Chris Carraba ended the evening with the whole crowd joining together to sing the lyrics to each of his songs. As fans headed for their cars, the cold air began to bite a little but, be it from the opportunity to sign up for the bone marrow registry, the company of good friends, or simply the enjoyment of good music, the feeling of warmth was apparent by the many smiles.

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