The Spirit of Music: Mélomane Returns to Medford Commons
There are few things more cohesive and unifying than a music festival sans consumerism and commercialism. People become companions in the immeasurable shared experience. In French, Mélomane means “for the love of music” or “music lover,” and it became the name of a Medford based festival that aimed to foster this camaraderie, and place the divine art of music on the pedestal that it deserves.
“Mélomane began in honor of a great musician, Josh Guillory who passed away in 2012,” says festival co-founder Carly Guillory. “Josh [her father] was the true embodiment of Mélomane. He was a local musician straight out of Eagle Point High School, who helped found the local punk rock band Virus 9.”
In the five years of its existence, the festival has grown from a gathering of friends and family at the Touvelle Tavern, to a large-scale community event in downtown Medford.
But when the planning board sat down to plan this year’s festival, running from noon-10 pm on Sat., June 24, they needed a big headliner to push the festival to the next level.
And boy did they find one. Headlining this year’s Mélomane are art-metal superstars, Helmet, who came to prominence in the ‘90s with a crushing approach to metal. Helmet toured with The Melvins, and have been cited as an influence by Deftones, Rise Against, Tool, Pantera, and more.
“Unbeknownst to a lot of people—Page Hamilton, the founding member of Helmet, is pretty much a Medford Native,” says Guillory.
After growing up in Medford, Hamilton studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and worked as a session player for David Bowie, and recording for Interscope records in the early ‘90s.”
Guillory says that Hamilton was immediately into headlining, and returning home to support a project that spoke to his heart and embodied much of his journey. Hamilton will also be participating in the Britt Guitar Weekend, providing instruction and insight to student musicians the same weekend.
Along with Helmet, this year’s Mélomane will host Southern Oregon punk band Army of a Million, local rock n’ roll band Hollowbodys, as well as Midnight Express Players, Seth Hansson, Parole Denied, and Doves & Vultures.
“This Mélomane Music Festival is a 100 percent Southern Oregon homegrown effort inspired from the roots of young kids with dreams in becoming professional musicians and the realities, hardships, sacrifices, and the highs and lows that it really takes to make a living and life in music all while embodying the true power and beauty of music,” says Guillory.
Melomane Music Festival, with Helmet, The Hollowbodies, Army of a Million, Doves and Vultures, and more
Noon-10 pm, Sat., June 24
Pear Blossom Park Blocks, 312 E. Fourth St., Medford