The Sounds of Solstice

June 4, 2014 

The "Sounds of Solstice 2014" music festival, featuring six bands with Berkeley's Ten Ton Chicken headlining, will be held noon-8 p.m., Saturday, June 21, in the Oakhurst Community Park.

The event is being organized by the 'Mat for Mayor' campaign team benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst. This is the second time Mat Sands has run for Honorary Mayor of Oakhurst. In 2008, he came in a close second after raising $22,000 for the club.

At that time, the club was temporarily closed due to a lack of funding.

"Being raised in the Mountain Area, I know first hand that there is not a lot to do when you are a child in a small town like Oakhurst," Sands said. "I recognized that the club was a very valuable asset to the youth of our area and it was crucial to get the doors reopened for the kids as soon as possible."

Sands said he was proud to have assisted in getting the club doors reopened, shortly after the Honorary Mayor campaign was completed.

"The community has been actively organizing events to 'take back the park' and make it a comfortable place for families," Sands said. "That is one of the reasons that we chose the park for this event. This is going to be a fun, outdoor event that people of all ages will enjoy while raising much-needed revenues for the Boys & Girls Club."

Gates will open at noon and the first band will begin at 1 p.m.

Sounds of Solstice performers

The six artists/bands scheduled to perform are Danny Sands of Palm Springs, who will be on piano playing well-known rock, blues and pop songs. With a sound that is rooted in California folk and country, Richfield of Fresno pulls inspiration from traditional American roots songwriters. Oakhurst's Centerville is a recently formed band that plays a cross between rock and country. The Fanatiks, a well known Oakhurst rock band, and Cameltones from Berkeley, will perform classic and modern rock. And headliners will be Ten Ton Chicken of Berkeley, a seasoned jam band that has traveled to many music festivals for several decades.

At 7 p.m., The Sounds of Solstice Jam will give all of these talented musicians the opportunity to play an unrehearsed set while taking turns playing an instrument of their choosing.

"This is sure to be an unforgettable experience for the musicians, as well as the audience," Sands said.

There will be a bounce house, water toys and games all day long for children.

In addition to food booths, South Gate Brewing Company and Idle Hour Winery will be serving beer and wine.

Sierra Fly Fishing Tours will offer free fly fishing demonstrations, KT-Lee Ranch will have some of their alpacas at the event, and Courtney Lynn will offer some of her art pieces for sale.

Sands said vendors interested in space at the event should contact him.

Tickets are $15 at the gate and children 12 and under are free. Ticket specials can be seen at

More about Sands

Mat Sands, a 1996 graduate of Yosemite High School, was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at 13 months of age. He has a lot of experience in fundraising, as he was a poster child for the Southern California Arthritis Foundation for several years of his childhood, before moving from Southern California to Oakhurst with his family in 1988 when he was 10.

After graduating from YHS, Sands moved to Berkeley, where he worked for a Bay Area Internet service provider for five years.

In 2001, he moved back to his 'hometown' of Oakhurst and established his own web design business, Oakhurst Online. His first projects included a town homepage and message forum that has evolved to Yosemite Area Online and Oakhurst Area Today.

In 2008, Sands ran for Honorary Mayor on behalf of Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst. Six years later, Sands was approached by the B&GC Board of Directors to run on their behalf during the 2014 campaign. Without hesitation, he accepted the challenge and began planning his second campaign. With the help of President Melanie Barker, and Board Members Eric Wood and Bob Macaulay, Sands has partnered with many local businesses and musicians to provide many fundraising events.

Other events

In addition to the Solstice event, Sands has planned an event every Thursday through early July. Upcoming events include a Roman's Bar (Crab Cakes Restaurant) Celebrity Bartender nights tonight (June 5), June 12 and Jun3 19 from 6 p.m. to closing; an evening on The Bass Lake Queen, 6-8 p.m., June 26; and a Bass Lake barbecue with Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler, beginning at noon, July 3, at Bass Lake Realty near the Pines Village.

Details: Mat Sands, (559) 426-5591,

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