Gunn Music Press launches inaugural Gunn Music Fest
Coy Iacono lives off the side of the Redwood Highway in Grants Pass. But it isn’t the noise from the many passing trucks that bothers him. It’s the lack of it.
“Every night when you fall asleep, a tour bus passes by,” he says. “And they need to stop.
There’s so much music here.”
But rather than throw his hands up at Southern Oregon’s flyover status, Iacono threw himself fully into doing something about it, first by founding a monthly magazine, Gunn Music Press, and then by running a local music series at the G Street Bar and Grill in Grants Pass.
Both were put on hiatus while Iacono moved. But that break gave him and his collaborators room to dream even bigger.
“We realized Gunn Music Fest kinda rhymes with Gunn Music Press,” he says.
Several months a bunch of stone-ground noses later, it’s happening. The inaugural Gunn Music Fest will go down at the Selma Community Center on Sat., May 30 with 30 acts getting loud to make their local scene proud.
“It’s something new, which I think people out here are hungry for,” says Ben Kenobi, of Kenobi Productions, which is helping Iacono with booking. “It’s not that same old reggae festival.”
Obi ain’t kidding. Festival headliners include metal masters like Fallen Theory and Tragedy Amongst the Stars, as well as EDM Djs like G_RAD, Tetragrammaton and more. There are also a variety of other rock acts filling the two stages at Gunn Music Fest, like The Legendary Goodtimes and Haywood Macabre. The majority are local, but about 25 percent are coming in from all over the west coast.
“What built this festival is that we’re fans first,” says Kenobi. “We built this around the people we’re stoked on hearing.”
“It’s neat to see the amount of people that want this to happen,” says Iacono. “Each of them could have said, ‘fuck off this sounds like a clusterfuck.’ But they didn’t. they embraced it.”
One of those that embraced it is Mindy O’Neil, who owns the iconic Moby truck stage seen at many local music festivals. She too is a part of the team for Gunn Music Fest.
“I’m so excited because it’s something different,” says O’Neil.
The festival will have two stages, a series of art vendors and will be running a food drive that gets entrants a discount at the gate. Organizers say that’s because the mission is bigger than just a day of baddass rock and roll.
“Grants Pass can’t survive on its own,” says Kenobi. “Medford can’t survive on its own. Ashland can’t survive on its own. We have to bring them together. Unity is the key. Our whole goal is to unify the music community, to bring them together.”
“You can just write that our whole goal is to unify the music community here, and then a comma, and then repeat that a hundred times,” Iacano adds.
Gunn Music Fest
11 a.m., Sat., May 30
Selma Community Center, 18255 Redwood Hwy., Selma
$25, $20 with food donation