Arts and Entertainment

Oak Harbor Music Festival ready to strike a sweet note

Judy Wilson, a volunteer with the Oak Harbor Music Festival, shows off a festival T-shirt. - Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times
Judy Wilson, a volunteer with the Oak Harbor Music Festival, shows off a festival T-shirt.
— image credit: Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

Festival season in Oak Harbor is not going away quietly.

Organizers of the Oak Harbor Music Festival are doing the final tuneups for the third annual event, which will feature 33 bands on two main stages Aug. 29-31 on Pioneer Way.

Promoters are busily securing volunteers and soliciting posters to spread the word about the free festival, which also will include 19 food vendors, beer and wine gardens and a water-fill station.

Merchandise featuring a new guitar-shaped logo was unveiled at a volunteer meeting last week but won’t be for sale to the public until the festival. Items include plastic water bottles, tank tops, caps, T-shirts and hoodies.

Eve Weinsheimer, a graphic artist from San Francisco, designed the logo, which got the attention of the music festival board.

“We fell in love with the guitar,” said Lynn Goebel, an organizer in charge of volunteers. “As the years go on, there are so many things you can do with it.

“It’s branding your organization.”

In lining up volunteers, Goebel has put to use an organizational chart this year that allows committee chairs to take charge of their departments, such as the beer and wine garden, information booths, parking lot and green room for the bands.

Goebel said the volunteer base is strong, but there are still opportunities to help for those interested.

People interested in volunteering may email to vol

“We are so blessed in this community,” she said.

More than 6,000 people attended the three-day festival last year.

As part of the Ed Bridges Music Scholarship, one graduate from each of Whidbey Island’s three public high schools earned a $1,000 award. Each student had to be pursuing music in college to be eligible.

The Oak Harbor Music Festival, which received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status last year, receives funding from donations during the event but also is supported largely by donations from local organizations and businesses.

Island Thrift is the festival’s title sponsor, donating $10,000 this year.

The biggest attraction remains the music.

An assortment of rock, country, folk and jazz bands were signed by organizer Larry Mason, including two of the most popular ones from last year, the Beatniks and LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends.

Jessica Lynne and Dylan Jakobsen are among the country musicians coming, while Craig Terrill and Cody Beebe and The Crooks are among the rock artists.

Goebel said her own children, ages 23 and 21, gave wide approval of the band lineup.

“They say, ‘Mom, this is the coolest thing ever,’” Goebel said.

Mason, a guitarist for The Halyards, who will appear at the festival, said Oak Harbor was lucky to get Heart by Heart, which performs Aug. 31.

That band features two former members of the group Heart, who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame -- drummer Mike Derosier and bass player Steve Fossen. The group plays classic Heart hits from the 1970s and ’80s.

“I’ve seen them,” Mason said.

“They’re really, really good.”

For a band schedule and short biography of all 33 bands coming to the festival, go to






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