During the first LoveFest two summers ago, I spent more than two hours in Hollywood's Young Circle getting shiatsued, Reikied, and generally being pampered. My muscles were relaxed, my mind flowed with random thoughts, and my wallet was just a little lighter than it was when I started the day. I'd received four massages and other New-Age enticements and sampled one or two of the event's 62 bands -- all for only $5.
Last year I concentrated more on the music. I started at Revolution 2029, listening to the acoustic rock of Doug Jacobson, worked my way over to Sneakers for Friction Farm's power pop, and ended my day eight hours later boogying to the blues wail of vocalist Cathy Cotton at Shuckums. I can't remember how many other bands I saw, but those eight hours passed way too quickly.
On July 19 festgoers can once again take advantage of all the massage, acupuncture, and hypnotherapy they can handle when more than 30 alternative-care practitioners set up temporary shop. But don't get too relaxed to rock; some 120 bands will gig at more than 20 venues along Hollywood Boulevard and Harrison Street and in Young Circle, along with eight standup comedians. It's all there for the taking -- still for just a $5 donation. Also on tap is the Art & Cool Stuff auction of merchandise and services donated by area businesses.
LoveFest began in 1996 as a benefit for the late James Morlock, founder of Now Art Cafe and an artist who'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His self-described soulmate, Angel Spence, asked a few local bands to help raise "a few hundred bucks" for Morlock's cancer treatment. Word spread, and soon 62 bands and numerous holistic practitioners were involved. They raised $12,000.
Partial proceeds from this year's festival will go to jazz musician Rabecca Boyko, who needs physical therapy for injuries sustained in a car accident. The rest of the donations will be used to establish a fund to assist artists, and auction profits will fund arts programs for underprivileged kids.
And after I drop my philanthropic fiver, I'll work on balancing the massage-to-music quotient to get the biggest bang for my bucks.
LoveFest '98 takes place Sunday, July 19 from 4 to 10 p.m. in Young Circle in downtown Hollywood. Wristbands are available for $5 at the Now Art Cafe (1820 S. Young Cir.) or from outdoor vendors. The Art & Cool Stuff Auction begins at 6 p.m. at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St.). For the music schedule, see "Concerts For the Week." For additional information call 954-922-0506.