Downtown Riverside parties

Saturation Fest ends at Back to the Grind, hosts local Southern California bands

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Published: May 28,2015 | Posted: June 3, 2015 | Written by: Treva Flores

In a world of technology with easy access to famous musicians such as Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift it can be pretty hard to become noticed.

The Inland Empire showed off its talent on May 24 at Back to the Grind in honor of Saturation Fest, an event that’s been going on since 2001.

The three day do-it-yourself festival was held on May 22 to May 24, bringing local acts, big and small to the stage.

All ages gathered around at the legendary coffee shop, some talking to friends and listening to the many bands that perform.

“Everyone’s so different that we’re the same, you can be yourself,” said Poly High School student Jadeyn Unger.

The event proved the Grind’s famous saying, “Back to the Grind is a place to come together, leaving all labels outside.”

The crowd was very uplifting as they cheered for their favorite artists and clapped along to musicians they didn’t know as well; the overall feeling was one of community.

A variety of musicians belched out lyrics while crowds of people swayed and danced to their tunes.

Many different genres were represented at the festival from jazz to punk.

It was impossible not to fall in love with at least one of the bands.

UCR graduate Enrico Vamora has attended Saturation Fest for at least five years.

“It’s a good in your face sample of art, music, and creativity,” Vamora said. “It creates the feeling like you know people from the Inland Empire.”

As the day turned into night the Grind became more and more packed with people.

At times it felt a little hectic as the crowd bounced back and forth between the basement and the café area, but it was worth it to hear the amazing talent from local bands such as Miss Chief and Summer Twins.

Many of the artists themselves rushed over from work such as the lead singer from Beach Bums, Jonathan Horsley.

There were even band members who work at the Grind like Alan Olney, guitarist for Sam Marsey.

The highlight of the night seemed to be the local Riverside band Summer Twins.

The local band has created a mass following around town as well as abroad.

There was not an open space in sight as everyone gathered around.

Some people stood on tables and chairs, while others tried their luck standing on the balcony.

They even had to tell the crowd to make a walkway so the Grind staff could continue to serve up their delicious food and drinks.

The band performed their  signature dream pop melodies inspired by ’50s and ’60s.

They played beautifully as the crowd sang along with them.

It was a moment of unity for the coffee shop and showcased how talented the community is.

Although Saturation Fest can be intimidating with large crowds and hot basement floors it wasn’t anything unbearable.

“This year wasn’t as overwhelmed by events,” Vamora said. “Other years there’s a lot more going on to the point where you don’t know where to go.”

The festival was a great way to put new artists out in the public eye and it is one of Riverside’s go-to events for the future.

“A lot of good people and vibes,” is how Unger, Poly High student, describes the last night of Saturation Fest.

It’s a mutual feeling, for everyone in the crowd seemed to be having fun listening to great music.

The Inland Empire community is what made Saturation Fest a success.

Overall it was just a bunch of good friends getting together to deliver fun and inspire the spirit of do-it-yourself to the good people of Riverside.