A Living Part of Pitzer’s Past: The Annual Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival

Ben Jardine

Contributing Writer

The Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival is imminent. This weekend’s festivities are a cultural staple of Pitzer College: this year—the 42nd—will feature a wide swath of musicians and performers including Phony Ppl, The Funk Ark, Princess Nokia, Joey Dosik, La Luz, student bands, a guest DJ, student art, HammockTown. Free to all, and open to the Claremont and surrounding communities, Kohoutek is a festival that rests warmly, fondly, in the eyes of many in the consortium. And as more music festivals in the area (your Coachellas, FYFs) become increasingly more expensive, Kohoutek is that weekend at the end of it all where performers and audience come together. After 43 years, the festival has seen hundreds of bands grace its naturally unique and Dr. Seuss-y mounds amphitheater—but throughout its tenure, Kohoutek has maintained a close connection between madness, utter relaxation, and that you’re-having-the-best-time-of-your-life kind of feeling.

There was that time Tornado Rider climbed a 30 foot tall tree and performed in vegetation. And that time GZA from Wu-Tang came. Or that time last year, when Delicate Steve played a set amongst a half-nude audience. Or that time The Roots, who now seem like late-night and hip-hop legends, played in the early 90s. Or that time Rage Against the Machine took over lower McConnell and, well, raged.

This year’s festival shall be no different. There will be a fair share of raging, your fair share of psychedelics and supine grooving, and perhaps a little rain; but whether this is your very first Kohoutek or your fifth-twice-removed, the spirit of Kohoutek is as alive today as it was in 1974.

The festival’s folklore is well known: a comet—spotted by Czech astronomer Lubos Kohoutek in ’73—is deemed to be on path to hit earth, it’s called “the comet of the century” and in the face of this comet (which he most certainly named after himself) the students of Pitzer College threw a festival-to-end-all-festivals. Due in part to you being able to read this, the comet did not strike Earth, the display was a let-down, and the comet disintegrated from the heat of the Sun—but the festival returns each year with more shine and luster than the comet ever did.

So come on down to the mounds this weekend. Shack a tail feather or a hand or two. Meet some alumni or catch up with some old friends from Kohouteks past. It’ll be a weekend to remember.

Lineup:

FRIDAY
11:00-12:30am The Funk Ark
9:40-10:40 Puff Puff Beer
8:20-9:20 La Luz
7:15-8:05 Dead Winter Carpenters
6:10-7:00 Fern Wallace
5:10-5:50 Street Light Cadence
4:15-4:50 Jay the Echo
3:30-4:10 Quesadilla Centrifuge

SATURDAY
11:00-12:30am Phony Ppl
9:40-10:40 Princess Nokia
8:25-9:25 Viento Callejero
7:20-8:10 Thumpasaurus
6:15-7:05 Them Howling Bones
5:10-5:55 Hot Flash Heat Wave
4:05-4:55 Dabble
3:15-3:55 Particles
2:00-3:00 Joey Dosik
1:00-1:40 Miggy P

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