A Ship In the Woods is a creative collective that was founded in 2010. The original location was in the hills of Del Mar, but in 2015 the ship sailed to a property adjacent to Felicita County Park in Escondido. Their new digs are an actual house in the woods that, in years past, served as the summer home for George Brent, an actor best known for starring opposite Bette Davis in eleven films.
The collective has hosted bands in the past, but are now making a giant leap to staging their own festival. The capacity for past events at the house was approximately 700 people. The two-day festival will host 3000 people each day. The ship will be taking over Felicita Park to make this happen.
“It was a big step to do a full festival,” co-director Lianne Mueller explained. “Working until four in the morning and getting up at six o’clock. Are you kidding me? We’ve got 20 to 30 volunteers and then we’ve got our board, who are also all volunteers. We’ve got a lot of people but, at the end of the day, it’s a huge step.”
Mueller identified issues such as electricity and band load-ins and load-outs as the primary hurdles for the new location. Whereas past Ship in the Woods concerts have only had one small stage, this event will feature two main stages switching back and forth to keep the performances continuous.
For an inaugural Ship in the Woods Music Festival, the line-ups for both days are pretty stacked with national artists (Shabazz Palaces, No Age, Built To Spill, Smog, Treepeople, Ice Balloons), as well as locals Spooky Cigarette, Hexa, and Island Boy. The easy access to headliners actually caught Lou Niles (a member of Ship in the Woods’ executive board and co-host of 91X’s Loudspeaker local showcase) a bit by surprise. “We had a list of hopeful national artists that also included a big list of local bands, but so many of the national acts said yes and wanted to be a part of what Ship In the Woods is about that we ended up only being able to fit a few locals on the lineup.”
One of the draws for the bands may be the hyper-creative environment that Ship in the Woods is promising. Besides the music, Mueller promises that the festival will offer plenty of unique “immersive art installations.... There’s an ocean tunnel that is going to be developed. I am waiting to see what that’s like,” she said.
Also of note, arrive early on Saturday June 16 to catch local Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot) and Lori Goldston (cellist who toured with Nirvana from 1993-94) performing an opening song that they created for the festival.