City holds free Buoyancy Festival for youth

Music and visual art by local teens will be featured

Local high school bands are coming out of the garage and into Mitchell Park Amphitheater this Sunday, June 5, for the city's first Buoyancy Festival.

The festival is created for high school students by high school students. The city's Teen Arts Council (TAC) has been planning the festival since January, according to Russell Starlack, member of the TAC and head of the festival committee.

"I don't think teens have as much of a voice as they need to have in the community. And I think that this presents a great opportunity for a free space to express ourselves," Starlack said.

In previous years, the Teens on the Green Festival, held in August, was the closest thing high school students had to showcase their musical talents to the community. Judge Luckey, senior program manager for the City of Palo Alto and artistic director of the concert series, said that Buoyancy Festival was planned for June to showcase bands that were formed during the school year.

In addition to the live music, a visual-arts tent will allow teen artists to sell their work. Luckey said the teens will also be creating a mural throughout the event, and food trucks and rides will be present as well. Luckey estimates between 700-1,000 people will be in attendance, compared to the estimated 500 people who attended Teens on the Green last year.

"Before it was just a concert, but now it is more," Luckey said. "We really want to focus on the teens and get them to events that are all theirs."

The festival is free and runs 4:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday, June 5. The first 500 teens will receive a free meal with proof of a high school ID, driver's license or library card. Mitchell Park is located at 600 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto.

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