A free concert will be held this Saturday at noon in Isla Vista’s historic Anisq’Oyo’ Park to raise money to rebuild the park amphitheater’s recently destroyed stage. The show — which will feature acts from Versus the World, Naked Walrus, Indian Trading Furs, Bad Jack, and Ben Babylon — is being organized and hosted by New Noise Music Foundation and its youth music series, Roger Perry Productions, and Isla Vista Recreation and Park District.
The goal is to raise enough money to pay for the stage’s overall reconstruction plan. Over the years, it has been the site of annual activities like Shakespeare in the Park and Isla Vista Earth Day, as well as a number of concerts and fundraisers that hold great importance for the surrounding community. “Music has always been in the blood of Isla Vista,” said Jeff Theimer of New Noise. So it only seems right that music be the way to bring a proper stage and amphitheater back to the park.
The original damage occurred about a year and a half ago when a transient set a fire near the back of the stage that was quickly put out by passersby. The second more destructive fire occurred on August 16 last year when a homeless person — who had had been feeding torn paper shreds through the boards of the stage over a number of weeks — “whether by accident or intentionally dropped a lit cigarette between the boards,” said Rodney Gould of the I.V. Recreation and Park District.
Currently, the I.V. Recreation and Park District has only submitted plans for a limited rebuilding of the stage, but once the work is finished, “the top will be constructed of colored and stamped concrete, making it fire proof,” stated Gould. That portion alone is expected to cost around $13,000 and doesn’t include costs associated with conforming to ADA standards. In addition to the reconstruction of the stage, Gould hopes to also eventually obtain enough funding to “[build] a shell to direct sound away from neighboring businesses, [install] a soundboard platform at the top of the amphitheater, a lighting system, and possibly a sound wall further protecting the neighbors.”
The success of Saturday’s event will be the first step in the rebuilding of this historic park and of the continuation of creating a positive and welcoming environment for residents of Isla Vista to enjoy, for “it is only with the community’s help that we can afford to do these types of events and try to help other organizations out and have fun,” Theimer said.