Canyon Crest Academy graduate expands Cubbfest

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

When he was in high school at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA), Chris Cubbison used to scribble make-believe music festival concert posters with his friends’ band names. He gave his concert the name Cubbfest, cribbed from his own last name, and envisioned his mascot as a friendly-looking hipster bear, with “Cubbfest” scrawled across its bear paw knuckles.

Cubbison soon realized that the posters didn’t have to be just pretend, that he could put on the show for real.

Over a year later, on July 31, Cubbison was hosting his second-annual music festival, this one an expansion on the original. The first Cubbfest in 2010 was held at a friend’s house in Encinitas, but this summer’s Cubbfest evolved to two stages and 20 bands outside Vision Pulse in Sorrento Valley.

From noon to 10 p.m., Cubbfest rocked with 10 hours of music and close to 400 people attended the event.

“It was a really good time,” Cubbison said, quick not to take all the credit for the show. “So many people were involved in so many ways, it was really a group effort…A lot of volunteers treated it like their summer jobs.”

He said it was cool to have everyone working toward a common goal, giving them a result they could be proud of.

Cubbison, a 2010 graduate of CCA now attending UC Santa Barbara, received a lot of help planning the event from fellow CCA grads, including Grant Jorgenson, Michael Christy, Pablo Mi, Danica Hoeprich and a slew of others.

“Last year it was thrown together at a friend’s house, we didn’t have a venue until the week before,” Cubbison said. “This year was different, there was many more people working on it and word really started to spread. It started as something regional, but this year managed to hit all parts of the county.”

Bands from Carlsbad to La Jolla played the festival, including some acts from Los Angeles. The Cubbfest crew built one stage using the back of a semi-truck and used the venue’s stage as the other.

The festival featured bands such as the Triptides, Range Rover, Tan Sister Radio and the Chabi Chavi Collective, a group made up mainly of former CCA students who specialize in art and music.

Large red letters strung across a wire welcomed people to the outdoor festival and there were Henna tattoos, impromptu chalk art, tacos from a food truck, as well as cool treats like Otter Pops. A Cubbfest Art Gallery was held indoors, with pallets of wood serving as displays for artwork—there was even a giant roaring bear created out of wood by CCA graduate Ryder Noll-Robles. Spoken word poets performed in between music sets.

Cubbison is currently studying literature at UCSB, but hopes to continue promoting art and music, something he feels is truly important. Cubbfest III could be coming next summer, possibly even bigger than this year.

“Every year is a learning process and every year we look to legitimize it more and more,” Cubbison said.