30th annual South Coast Clambake Music Festival

Bay City Swing performs during the 30th annual South Coast Clambake Music Festival in 2019 at The Mill Casino-Hotel in North Bend.

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NORTH BEND — In the Salmon Room of The Mill Casino-Hotel, sounds of high energy, rhythmic jazz flowed through the area, filling everyone with its catchy, toe-tapping beat.

Through their shared love of music, hundreds of people gathered from around the region to celebrate the 30th Annual South Coast Clambake Music Festival held this weekend at The Mill Casino-Hotel.

Following tradition, the festival featured a number of musically-diverse bands each of which brought their own unique style to the stage. From doo-wop to 50’s rock and roll, bands performed simultaneously throughout the weekend in four different rooms at the casino.

Jim Ring, a Clambake Music Festival board member, said he originally became involved with the festival about four years ago to help consult on its lineup and expose the community to as much musical talent as possible.

Bands traveled from as far as Michigan, Washington and California to perform, he said. Hometown favorites Bay City Swing and the Young Bucs also performed.

This year, the festival sponsored California band Gator Nation to perform at numerous Bay Area schools as part of its Youth Music Education Fund, which received donations from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund and Banner Bank to name a few.

“The kids really love it,” said Ring. “The band talks about their instruments, what they do and how to build a song. It’s very educational and very well received.”

The festival also featured dance demonstrations and lessons throughout the weekend. Bonnie Prater, a dance instructor, said she loves it when people step outside their comfort zone and try dancing for the first time.

“It’s a lot on fun,” she said. “I’m always advocating for people to join me on the dance floor.”

For the past three years, Prater has held multiple dance lessons for the festival some of which include different styles of swing dancing such as Balboa and West Coast Swing.

About 100 volunteers participated in the festival as well as its board members.  A debriefing of the weekend will take place later this month to discuss the festival as a whole and what sort of things the board can work on to improve it for next year, said Ring.

The band committee will also meet, sometime next month, to begin discussing bands for the 2020 Clambake Music Festival.

Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.

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