Music News & Reviews

TBD Fest seen as showcase for West Sacramento waterfront

West Sacramento’s TBD Fest on the city’s riverfront was largely incident-free with a smattering of noise complaints from both sides of the Sacramento River, according to the music festival’s promoters and the city’s mayor.

Promoters estimated that 21,000 attendees took in more than 70 acts, including headliners Empire of the Sun, Moby and Justice. Bands performed on the festival’s four stages during the three-day event in what was seen as a showcase for the city’s riverfront.

“It demonstrated what many already believe, that we don’t use the river enough,” said West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “TBD proved everyone right in that sense.”

TBD Fest is a homegrown music event that got its start across the river as the Launch festival. Founders Mike Hargis and Clay Nutting moved it this year to bigger digs on West Sacramento’s riverfront where developers eventually plan to build an entertainment, beer and food venue called “The Barn.”

The three-day festival gave a glimpse of an urban riverfront to come even as it shook some in earshot of the stage on both sides of the river. About 7,500 West Sacramento residents live within a mile of the TBD Fest site, census figures show. Another 9,500 Sacramento residents live within the same distance.

Cabaldon said his city received a similar number of complaints to what officials receive during fireworks displays at Raley Field after Sacramento River Cats games. He said the city received about “two dozen complaints” over the festival’s three-day span, saying the number was neither “large nor unusual.”

Cabaldon, who lives about four blocks from the festival venue, said, “All the reports from the event had been positive. Nothing serious went wrong, no major incidents.”

Incident numbers from West Sacramento police were unavailable Monday, but TBD production manager Abe Spera said about 20 people were treated for hydration issues during a weekend when temperatures climbed above 90 degrees.

“The heat hurt our Sunday a little bit,” Spera said.

Paul Trudeau lives across the river in Sacramento’s Southside Park neighborhood. He said his home and his neighbors’ house were rattled Friday by the sounds coming from the riverfront, but said the sound subsided during the weekend.

“I wish them a successful event, but it was beyond excessively loud on the first day,” Trudeau said. On Saturday and Sunday, though, “It’s not like we couldn’t hear it, but they toned it down.”

Hargis said organizers are sensitive to the complaints, but that events like TBD and others can bring attention to West Sacramento and the riverfront.

“For what this event means to the city, I hope we can look past a couple of noise complaints to realize the importance and significance of the event,” he said on the festival grounds Monday.

“We have this incredible sense of gratitude at what this city has to offer,” Hargis added. “It was a huge risk. We leveraged everything ... but now we have agents telling us this is their new favorite festival. Saturday sold out. We’re beyond our expectations.”

Cabaldon said events like TBD could also help attract and keep younger people in West Sacramento.

“I hear a constant refrain, that we need to have things to do, more restaurants, more events, the community economic development that folks on both sides of the river demand,” he said. “We’ve struggled to get young people back. This is a very strong message that there’s a place for them, too.”

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