KAILUA-KONA — Come one, come all.
Konastock — celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1969’s Woodstock — takes over Hale Halawai today with live music, dancing, videos, laser light shows, vegan cuisine, arts and crafts and more sure to delight young and old.
The free “Hawaiian-style Woodstock” community festival put on by nonprofit the Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens runs from noon to 8 p.m. at the county park facility. It’s also a zero-waste event.
“It’s going to be very cool. It’s going to be very fun. I want people to enjoy life. That’s my kuleana,” Randyl Rupar, event organizer and president of Sanctuary at Mana Kea Gardens, said. “I’m here to allow people to realize how fortunate and lucky we are to be here now to do these things and to look at the world from a point of view of magic and happiness and joy.”
Bolo Mikiela Rodrigues “Bolo” will take the stage at noon offering Hawaiian acoustic versions of Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and Carlos Santana.
“Oh, yes, way,” said Rupar of the musical offerings.
Following Bolo will be a performance by a trio from New Thought Center performing “The Letter” by The Box Tops; Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary;” “Get Together” by The Beatles; John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane;” and more.
At 2 p.m., three friends of Rupar will showcase tunes by The Grateful Dead followed by Robin Hilliard, whom Rupar called an “excellent musician” and will share with the audience John Sebastian’s “Summer in the City” and “Daydream” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.
Dr. Tim’s Medicine Band will take the stage in the afternoon performing for the crowd favorites like “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono; Chuck Berry’s “Johnny Be Good;” and “Don’t Think Twice” by Bob Dylan.
Wrapping up the afternoon and taking the festivities into the early evening are Chantel of Circue Hale who along with students will present an aerial performance, local magician Arnold “Arnie” Rabin who will present “a magical history of Woodstock,” and the band Uma and Friends, which will share renditions of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot;” “Somebody to Love” and “Try a Little Harder.”
Closing the evening will be a reggae performance getting underway at 7 p.m.
“Bob Marley wasn’t there (at Woodstock in 1969), and I think he should have been there,” said Rupar, “so, we’re going to have a reggae band show up.”
The emcee for the free event is Mr. Kneel, Neil McIntyre, an award-winning hip hop musician and educator. That Captain Cook resident visits classrooms and even hosts children’s events at libraries around Hawaii Island.
The original Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place Aug. 15-18, 1969, on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York. It was initially billed as “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” but became known simply as Woodstock and became synonymous with the counterculture movement of the 1960s.
Dozens of artists headlined the three-day rock festival including Santana, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Jim Hendrix and many others. An estimated half- to 1 million people converged on the festival.
While Kona gears up for its celebration, plans for Woodstock 50 on the mainland went down the drain this week. Organizers canceled their planned 50th anniversary celebration due to “unforeseen setbacks,” according to The New York Times. The festival had been announced in January, but no tickets were sold.