It’s been on a four-year hiatus but now LouieFest, the rock ’n’ roll music and art festival, is back with a bang. The weekend features a powerhouse trio of iconic 1960s rock bands: The Sonics, The Wailers and Moby Grape.
The weekend kicks off tonight with The Sonics at the Pantages Theater and LouieFest takes over the outdoor spaces at Tacoma’s newest attraction: LeMay-America’s Car Museum on Saturday and Sunday.
“Cars and rock ’n’ roll – a connection made in heaven,” LouieFest co-organizer Randy Sparks said.
For the first time since the 1960s, Tacoma’s own The Sonics are playing a hometown show. Three of the original members of the band – Jerry Roslie, Larry Parypas and Rob Lind – will be performing tonight.
The band reformed in 2007 and have been performing in sold out concerts around the world.
On Saturday and Sunday, 40 bands on four outdoor stages (main, acoustic, blues and rock) will make up the entertainment at LeMay.
Moby Grape, a 1960s San Francisco rock band, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday with original members Peter Lewis, Don Stevenson and Tacoma native Jerry Miller. “They had a heavy influence on Northwest music,” Sparks said. LouieFest will mark their first Tacoma performance.
On Sunday, the Tacoma band that made “Louie Louie” famous, The Wailers, will close out the show at 5 p.m. Following their performance they will lead a 1,000 guitar sing-along to “Louie Louie.” Amateurs and pros are encouraged to bring their own guitars and play along. Electrical outlets will be provided. (See accompanying story on the history of the song.)
The festival also will feature local art, vendors, a beer garden and children games and activities.
Some of the proceeds from the festival will support the Wailers Performing Arts Foundation and other youth music organizations.
When: 10 a.m.-dusk, Saturday and Sunday
Where: LeMay-America’s Car Museum, 2702 E. D St., Tacoma
Tickets: One-day pass: $15 advance/ $20 at gate, weekend pass: $25 advance/ $30 at gate, 12 and younger: $10, military and senior discounts available (cost of admission includes entry to the museum)
When: 7 tonight
Where: Pantages Theater, Tacoma