Our town loves it some festivals. Give us an excuse, or just a couple days, and we'll mine the creative goldmines and hoard as many bands as possible into a venue or warehouse, slap a name on the event, and then proceed to show the rest of the planet our devotion to quality live music. Yeah, we're cool like that. But the Children of the Revolution, now in its third year and bigger than ever, is a little different than other events. In addition to the bands—and there are so many bands—this festival features community workshops and the work of some stellar local artists as well.
Music wise, COTR shares a few similarities with both the Artix and Halleluwah Festivals, yet maintains a unique style all its own. Named after a T.Rex song, COTR is organized under the watchful eye of curator Sohale Kevin Darouian, who took a moment to talk about the festival's past, future, and why kids are not welcome. I'll give you a hint on the last one; it starts with "OL" and ends in "CC."
MERCURY: How have the previous two years of the festival gone?
SOHALE KEVIN DAROUIAN: They both were great; each event really stands on its own. The first was at Tube and Food Hole, and the conjunction of those two places was an awesome platform for the first show. The following year we found AudioCinema and that helped us move in the direction I think is more obvious now.
How important is it for you, and the entire festival, to incorporate other creative elements (workshops, artists, etc.) into the event and not just rely on music?
I keep on going back to this van Gogh quote, "Great things are done by a series of smaller things brought together." Music is great but it is only one facet of a huge amount of creativity in this event. Visual artists tend to be looked over in Portland, and it's a shame when there is so much talent. The workshops are in the festival to inspire people to make things, whether you are making a book, a garden, or something useful out of garbage.
Is there a reason the event is not open to all ages?
We ran into OLCC [Oregon Liquor Control Commission] problems. In order for us to pay for the event we couldn't have it be all ages. It is a real shame because I feel that youth could really benefit from something like this.
In the future do you have plans to expand Children of the Revolution?
Let's see what happens! I am just as curious as everyone else. What can we create next year?
Children of the Revolution Fest takes place at AudioCinema (226 SE Madison) on Saturday, January 5 and Sunday, January 6.