San Luis Obispo was once a highlighted midpoint between Los Angeles and San Francisco for Bands/Artists and a mecca for the local consumers of such acts. Throughout the years, however, many small and large venues alike have come into hot water in one way or another and lead to what I've heard referred to as "The Great Depression" of our musical scene. What was once multiple shows a week, has dwindled to settling for a few a month and I for one was tired. Tired of missing out on the things that gave me life in my younger days. Things like loud music, big laughs, like being surrounded in other likeminded misguided folks that couldn't just swallow the mainstream (the type of people that become your best friends, hell even family). So following in the footsteps of so many before us, we took it on to do something about it.

In steps The Tabernacle, a new community style house in San Luis Obispo dedicated to living intentionally. We wanted to hear live music, so we hosted it. Starting with the first installment of a Biannual festival known solely as Lil' Fest.

We invited a group of our best friends and favorite local musicians to join us, and let me be the first to tell you. We are just getting started.


Starting the whole thing off with a bang was St. Michael featuring the incomperable Brenneth Stephens. Welcoming in a new era of community with a low scratchy howl of a voice and steel strings that sound like sirens seemed like the right thing to do. The set culminated with a Townes Van Zandt tune in which they were joined by the one and only Kate Feldtkeller from the local duo Hillary & Kate.

Next up Brother/Sister duo Shining In the Dark. Melancholic tunes with a mind and a heart. The types of songs that make you think, reminisce and feel. Songs about love, loss, depression and being a parent in a tough situation. 

John Metz managed to transport a room of people to another dimension with his haunting and charmingly arranged pieces. Somehow creating an immersive dichotomy of futuristic and nostalgic music that we were hearing for the first time.


Not only was the music that John played moving and haunting but he brought along a friend to further the experience. Katie Neville provided a stirring and emotionally evoking interpretive dance to accompany the songs that left the room motionless and in awe.

Next up on the roster was the unparalleled Garland Miller. Delivering some truly moving pieces as always. Garland has a way of writing that only proves the breadth of experience and emotion that is poured into every aspect.



Night one was proving to be a success but wouldn't have been complete if we weren't joined by one of our favorites, Shawn Clark (Shawn Clark Family Band). Joining Shawn was Brenneth Stevens for his second appearance at Lil' Fest. There's not much that can be said that hasn't about Shawn and his influential classic country tunes. He writes the types of songs that take me back to childhood, sitting in my grandfathers big rig and pulling that loud horn. The types of songs that'll break your heart and put it back together just to break it again. A no-nonsense and undemanding way to end the night.


With this we said goodbye to Night One of Lil' Fest and hello to the rest of our life here at The Tabernacle.

Images Provided By Benjamin Zucker 

Words Provided By J.M. Baxter