Arts Devo

Best week of the year in Chico?

Monkey Face at night.

Monkey Face at night.

Photo courtesy of Blue Lab Media

In bloom Looking at the bursting calendar of arts events directly in front of him, Arts DEVO would have to say that spring definitely has sprung. Get out and enjoy all the pretty flowers on display. Here’s just a sampling:

• Chico Area Music Festival: The CN&R switched up the CAMMIES this year by ditching the nominations and putting the show-planning in the hands of local promoters and venues. And they responded in a huge way, curating all-local shows and doubling the overall number of performing acts to more than 100 over the next 10 days, April 21-30. It all culminates May 1 with a CN&R-sponsored finale at Patrick Ranch. See the full schedule in this week’s special CAMMIES supplement or online at or While you’re at the CN&R site, cast your vote for Best Chico Act. Polls close Sunday, April 24, at 11:59 p.m.

• Chico Comedy Festival: Chico ex-pat and favorite son DNA has returned with a follow-up to last year’s inaugural comedy fest. Night one, Saturday, April 23, is split into two halves: an early show, 6-9 p.m., for free, at Chico City Plaza with dozens of local and visiting comedians hitting the stage; and a smattering of late shows, 9:30 p.m. till late, featuring comedians at various venues around town (B Street Public House, Duffy’s Tavern, Blue Room Theatre, the Maltese Bar & Tap Room and Pageant Theatre). Sunday, April 24, at 7:30 p.m., it’s the big finale with Drennon Davis and Nick Stargu headlining the Sierra Nevada Big Room. Find Chico Comedy Festival on Facebook for more details.

• WordSpring: This is the fifth year of the annual creative-writing conference, which features a day filled with workshops in “poetry, fiction, memoir, journaling, songwriting, nature writing and more,” Saturday, April 23, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Butte College Learning Resource Center. Visit for details and to register.

• Gold Nugget Days: Parades, pageants, barbecues and melodramas happening during Paradise’s annual celebration of its gold-mining heritage and the discovery of a 54-pound nugget in 1859. April 22-24. Visit for more info.

• Touring bands: A huge week for big acts visiting Chico: Afrolicious (tonight, April 21) and J-Stalin (April 22) at Lost on Main, The Brothers Comatose (April 22) and The Expendables (April 24) at the El Rey Theatre, The Story So Far at the Senator Theatre (April 23) and Fruition at the Big Room (April 27).

Bidwell Park in motion Speaking of springtime goodness, on April 12, Brent Holland of Blue Lab Media in Chico posted on his video/photo production studio’s Facebook page a beautiful video montage he put together of a spring day in the life of Upper Bidwell Park. As of this writing, it had more than 200,000 views! Most impressive is the breathtaking time-lapse scene of Monkey Face at the end, with star-packed sky spinning overhead. Visit to watch.