Spirit of The Dead lives at 'Aint' Necessarily' Auburn music fest

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
-A +A

Gus Thomson/Auburn Journal

Stu Allen and his band Mars Hotel are headliners — or is it “deadliners” — at Saturday’s Ain’t Necessarily Dead Festival at Regional Park in North Auburn.

Music inspired by the Grateful Dead is at the forefront of the Ain’t Necessarily The Dead free festival Saturday at North Auburn’s Regional Park.

Two stages fronting the Richardson Drive park’s lush greenspace will feature headliners Stu Allen & Mars Hotel and supporting acts Matt Rainey & Dippin’ Sauce, the Mellow Fellows, the Scott Pemberton Band. Several more acts are slotted in during the early part of the day.

The big stage will bring state-of-the-art sound and an LED-based lighting-and-backdrop experience to an audience that last year numbered an organizer-estimated 2,500 to 3,000.

The Auburn Recreation District is playing host to the fourth annual festival. Scott Holbrook, district board member, said that “celebration” could be a fitting theme for the day.

“People from all walks of life put the debts, doubts and worries of the day-to-day aside and let their inner hippie loose for a day of dancing hugging and maybe a little magic, where Mom and Dad, the grandparents and kids all find a happy place, be it in the kid zone or the grass dance floor,” Holbrook said.

Allen & Mars Hotel will cap the noon-to-10 p.m. festival, taking the main stage for the sundown set of Dead-influenced, eclectic jams.

While music and dancing are at the forefront, the Recreation District has also included a craft beer garden, giant kid zone, food court and crafts booths in the mix.

Kahl Muscott, parks district administrator, said that with temperatures expected to rise to 96 degrees, attendees should remember to stay hydrated. Keeping cool and beating the daytime scorch of the sun will be aided by a cooling tent, new this year and presented by Maki Heating and Air Conditioning, he said.

Blankets and low-back chairs are allowed, and umbrellas are “tolerated,” Holbrook said.

And don’t forget the sunscreen, he added.

“Having some ‘flowers in your hair’ is most appropriate, hula hooping is encouraged and get ready to dance,” Holbrook said.

More information on the no-admission family friendly event is at or by calling the parks district at 530-885-8461.