Best of the fest

A sneak peek at In the Flow, the Dixon May Fair, Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom and the party formerly known as the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee

Snoop Dogg says don’t miss the Dixon May Fair—or In the Flow festival, or Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom, or even the party formerly known as the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.

Snoop Dogg says don’t miss the Dixon May Fair—or In the Flow festival, or Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom, or even the party formerly known as the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.

You know it’s the time of year for music festivals again when tract-home drunkards return to the America River’s banks and bros riding souped-up cruisers are all up on Midtown’s sidewalks. Nothing says the sound of music like sweaty sunshine and suburban simplemindedness. Anyway, rejoice, because with unmitigated arm tattooage and copious C-Minus barbecue digestif comes great music.

Such as this week’s Dixon May Fair. Turn your attentions to the one and only Snoop Dogg, who will headline the party on Wednesday, May 9. (This paper officially comes out on Thursday, but some of you will be reading this on Wednesday. Feel lucky.)

Anyway, Snoop Dogg previously visited Sacramento in September of last year; it was a monumental pop-culture experience. For Sacramento. Here’s what I wrote back then: “I grew up in suburban Sacramento and, when Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle dropped in 1993, it was a seed that fomented a new breed of suburban teenager: young white bros pretending they could rap, going on about G’s being up and hoes being down and ever-present mammoth phalluses. … Not sure what the point is, but last night rapper, marijuana activist and undeniable pop-culture shaker Snoop wowed a capacity crowd at Ace of Spades with a high-energy mix of rap, funk and pop, including almost all the hits.

“I was shocked by Snoop’s showmanship.”

One Block Radius opens for Snoop. The English Beat and the Romantics grace the stage on Thursday, May 10; Kellie Pickler and Phil Vassar do Friday, May 11; and Larry the Cable Guy (not a musician) closes the fair out on Saturday, May 12. Find out more at

This week also marks the arrival of the annual In the Flow Festival, a celebration of jazz, poetry, spoken word, improvisational, electronic and blues. The kickoff is Wednesday, May 9, and it goes on every day, all day, until Monday, May 14. Venues include the Sacramento Poetry Center, Luna’s Café & Juice Bar, Bows & Arrows, Phono Select, Antiquité Maison Privée—that’s right, pretty much every dope spot in Midtown. See page 40 for more festival preview info and visit for details and tickets.

May marks the 12th-annual Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom festival in Woodland, courtesy UC Davis’ college radio station KDVS. This year’s affair is heavy on Bay Area and Sacramento bands, per usual, including some electronic treats: Dibiase and Raleigh Moncrief, both from the 916.

I first wrote about O:RMF in 2006, for the fourth-annual festival: “KDVS DJs Rick Ele, Brendan Boyle and Joe Finkel were hunkered away in the basement of UC Davis’ eclectic radio station when they created Operation: Restore Maximum Freedom, the moniker for KDVS’ biannual music festival. … It [is always] held at Plainfield Station, a restaurant and bar in Woodland with a back patio and a sprawling lawn where artists cut loose on a ramshackle stage. ‘The place has a right-wing stigma, and KDVS has a left-wing stigma,’ Boyle said, ‘so it’s real cool to have the two come together.’” O:RMF 12 goes down on Saturday, May 19, at Plainfield Station, 23944 County Road 98 in Woodland; 1 p.m.; $10; all ages;

And then there’s the jazz festival in Old Sacramento, which has retained its old Web address ( but adopted a dazzlingly banal new moniker: Sacramento Music Festival! Longstanding producer Jerry Perry was recruited to spice up the array of jazz and blues acts, and he’s added Musical Charis, Dog Party, Parie Wood, Foxtails, Buster Blue, Kepi Ghoulie, Fierce Creatures and others to the usual mix of piano-player Bob Ringwald, Mick Martin, Jimmy Pailer and the Nibblers. Catch it Friday, May 25, to Monday, May 28; day passes $20-$45, all-events pass $110.

So, tattoo it on your arm, or put a note on your beer can: “See live music in May, OK?”