For anyone who grew up in the 1980s or just loves the music from that decade, Experience El Dorado has exciting news to share – Jefferson Starship will be the headliner for the City of Gold Festival in September.
Jefferson Starship fans will remember such hits as “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” among many others. Festival attendees will be able to experience their music live as they headline the Downtown Block Party on Sept. 24. The Block Party gets underway at 2 p.m., with some local and regional performances, and wraps up about 11 p.m., with Jefferson Starship ending the day’s events.
Jefferson Starship music has entertained listeners for many years.
When founding member Paul Kantner formed Jefferson Starship in the ’70s, he envisioned the band as a cast of musical adventurers, who contributed to his epic concept albums and eventual deep catalog of rock classics. When the current lineup of the band came together in 2012, Kantner couldn’t have imagined the band would become the road-conquering heroes they’ve been in the last few years.
Jefferson Starship’s five members describe themselves as both a “family” and a “gang,” which comes across in their robust live performances that have taken them to all 50 U.S. states, five continents and too many countries to list (a recent tour of New Zealand was mentioned among the band’s favorites), drawing from a massive setlist of hit after hit.
In addition to original member David Freiberg, the band includes drummer Donny Baldwin (whose Jefferson Starship roots go back to 1982), keyboardist Chris Smith (who joined in 1998), guitarist Jude Gold (who joined in 2012), and singer and guitarist Cathy Richardson who joined in 2008, after Kantner saw her tour with Big Brother and the Holding Company.
As Jefferson Starship approaches its 50th anniversary, the group’s members look to the future with the word Kantner, who unfortunately died in 2016, used to say to them all the time: “Onward.”
“To me, that exploration — that Paul Kantner thing of just getting on a rocket ship and firing it as hard as it will go, and taking off and exploring the cosmos and the music, and everything in between — is really the spirit of Jefferson Starship, and that’s very much alive in the band today,” Gold says. “And that comes straight from Paul. And always has.”
In addition to the music, the Block Party will include a BBQ Cook-Off, Arts and Crafts Fair, local performances, kids’ activities and more! Opening acts for the music include DJ Carbon, combatxcarl, Piper Landon, Chase & Co., and Brett Westgrove.
Leading up to the Block Party, will be a week full of activities from Sept. 17 through 24. The festival will open with an afternoon at Walters’ Pumpkin Patch, including giant pumpkin boat races, hay bale decorating, kids’ activities, an outdoor movie and more. The week will go on to include a variety of activities, with the full schedule to be announced soon.
“We are excited to bring an annual festival back to El Dorado,” said Javan Gonzalez, City of El Dorado Destination Services Coordinator. “El Dorado residents have not had a festival for a few years until we held 150Fest last year to recognize El Dorado’s Sesquicentennial. Everyone had such a great time, we were constantly being asked if we were holding the event again the next year. While 150FEST was a one-time event, it showed the desire of the community to gather together for some fun, activities, music and more. We are excited to offer the first Gold Fest this year. We hope everyone comes out and has a great time.”
Buttons for the festival are available at ExperienceElDo.com for $8 in advance. On Sept. 1, the button price will increase to $10. You can find more information on Experience El Dorado’s Facebook page.