On Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, the 420 Smoker Tour will take over O'Malley's Irish Pub, 2403 Sixth Ave. The event is a preview of the fourth annual Cloneapalooza, an herb-friendly rock festival that will next take place from Sept. 15 to 17 at Silver Ridge Ranch in Easton, and a release party for a related DVD. Tickets for Cloneapalooza 4 will go on sale this weekend and be available online at www.cloneapaloozaIV.brownpapertickets.com.
Recently, the Tacoma Weekly caught up with founder Chris Aldrige to find out what to expect this weekend.
Tacoma Weekly: What exactly is Cloneapalooza?
Aldridge: Cloneapalooza is a green-friendly camping and music festival that we hold annually in Eastern Washington, usually in late August or early September. We are now in our fourth year. We've had anywhere from about 20 to 30 bands come out each year.
TW: What inspired you to start this event in the first place?
Aldridge: Basically, I'd been friends with several local artists – bands and musicians. I enjoyed going to their shows that they put on, but the music scene just didn't have much going for it the last three or four years. Bands are struggling to find a gig to play, and fighting with managers and promoters who are trying to do “pay to plays,” for example. I've never done a pay-to-play, and I never will. What my movement is more about is recognition of the bands and artists.
My motto is “united rock and rap under one green flag.” I've been involved in the medical marijuana field myself. I'm basically just trying to bring in a whole bunch of different genres of music, and I've found that everybody, regardless of the genre of music they listen to, was interested in the green movement. We just kind of took that momentum and ran with it.
TW: What's a typical turnout for the main Cloneapalooza event?
Aldridge: Our first year, we were in North/Central Washington, a good six-hour drive from the Seattle area, so it was a little bit tough to get out there. I think we had about 400 people. The second year, we moved to Easton, to our current location, which is Silver Ridge Ranch. It's a big campground, and our second year we had probably 500, 600 people.
TW: What are people gonna see at O'Malleys?
Aldridge: All of the bands that are playing Metal at O'Malley's are scheduled to be at Cloneapalooza. Half of the bands have already played and are alumni, and there's a couple of new ones that we're bringing on to the tour as well. Pretty much what people can expect at Metal at O'Malley's is eight metal bands that are gonna be bringing high energy and all their fan bases. Basically, this is the culmination of four years of work including the last 18 shows I've done over the last four years, including the tour. We will basically be pushing all of this to a head at O'Malley's. I'll be releasing a rockumentary which is a six-hour-long video (that is) a culmination of all those shows. We're hoping for it to be a pretty big thing, and are hoping to really pack the place.
TW: What are some of the bands people would recognize that are going to be on this DVD?
Aldridge: Most of the bands that we have, honestly, are local talent. But we have booked some national guys before. We had Haystack come out to headline last year's tour, and that was our main draw there, for sure. Some of the other local talent includes Metal Church's kids' band, Sin Circus. We also are bringing out Circus Sick which is a metal band from Las Vegas. … That's one that may not be well-known around here, but they're getting bigger on the West Coast.
TW: Assuming people can't make it to O'Malley's, where can they find the DVD?
Aldridge: After that, we will be selling it on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CloneAPalooza3/). We will have our Cloneapalooza page back up soon, but we are redesigning it for Cloneapalooza 4.