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The Festival

Join us to enjoy an action packed day and evening of local, regional, and national performers including our headliner, FOGHAT!

The inaugural Ojai Nest Fest is a family friendly fundraiser for struggling Veterans, held at Lake Casitas Recreation Area in beautiful Ojai, California on Saturday October 2, 2021. The event hosts music & comedy across multiple stages, fabulous food and merchandise vendors, a kids zone with bouncy houses and family entertainment, beer garden, silent disco after party and so much more!

How We Give Back

Our goal this year is to raise $50,000. Proceeds from the festival are donated to Veterans Independence Foundation who provides assistance such as mental and physical health therapy, basic home repairs, transportation issues, education assistance, childcare services and so much more.

Our goal is to bring together the Southern California community to raise awareness and support for our American patriots. We are always looking for more ways to spread our mission, so please let us know of any special collaboration in and around the area that may align with our vision. We strive to make you feel at home and at peace and we think you’ll agree that Ojai Nest Fest is like no other.

Ojai

Located only 80 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Ojai (pronounced like a startled greeting: OH-hi) is the perfect small town getaway. Ojai, which takes its name from the Chumash Indian word A'hwai, meaning “the Nest" or “Valley of the Moon" is a special place with a long history of reverence and appreciation for agriculture, the arts, education and the human spirit. The city is nestled within the Ojai Valley like eggs into a bird's nest. A tiny sun-drenched, east-to-west laying valley 10 miles long and three miles wide closely resembles the look and climate of either Tuscany or the south of France.

With its richness in physical beauty and cultural history, the valley attracts artists, entrepreneurs, activists and actors. Ojai is a lovely land of coastal oaks and lush groves of citrus, olive and avocados. The views are legendary. The sight from the top of Dennison Grade is so extraordinary that it was portrayed as Shangri-La in the legendary movie "Lost Horizon". At the end of each day you are privileged to witness Ojai's "pink moment", when the Topa Topa Mountains display an otherworldly pink hue.

Ojai is also considered by many to be a vortex of spiritual energy. From around 1874 people came to the town in horse and carriage, and later, train to “take the water” in the various hot springs in the area. Today, Ojai remains a place of prominent spiritual appeal.

The Team

Neil Blitstein was introduced to Keith Erickson through the general manager of the Saban Theater (shout out to Dana) after Veteran Independence Foundation’s last fundraiser in February of 2020.

After the two talked several times on the phone (the dating phase), they realized that their skills and experience would complement each other nicely and a partnership was formed to produce a fundraiser for struggling Veterans.

Initially the fundraiser was to be held on the island of Catalina, off the coast of Los Angeles, California and the original name was "Where's Bill Festival". But that's a long and funny story for another time. Basically, the logistics would have been a huge nightmare.

Keith suggested to Neil that they take a look at one of his favorite places in the world, the beautiful city of Ojai, CA. Neil agreed with Keith that Ojai was a great place and that the Libbey Bowl and Libbey Park would be their location for the festival. However, due to COVID-19 the event was postponed and the two promoters realized it was actually a blessing in disguise. They needed a bigger venue!

Neil started looking at large, open sections of land in Ojai. Keith started making calls to winery’s, but it was looking dim. Neil pointed out the only place large enough was the Ventura County fairgrounds, or one of the schools. Keith suggested reaching out to the local school district to see if they would be interested in being involved with our mission. It turns out they loved the cause and concept! Thus, the Nordhoff High School Athletic Field was chosen as the new festival site. After many conversations with the school administrators, the city of Ojai, the Fire Department, vendors, sponsors and suppliers, the event was approved and was ready to launch on Saturday October 2, 2021!.

Then came the conversation with ABC. No Beer on school property. It was suggested that we look at Lake Casitas.
We contacted Joe at the lake and he jumped on board.

So it is with great pleasure that we announce we FINALLY have a location and we are a GO!!!
See You There!!!

The entire team is beyond excited to bring you the inaugural Ojai Nest Fest! We thank you in advance for your support and look forward to seeing you there!

Spin Cycle Presents is a music and events promotional company that focuses on building the Southern California jam band community.

Deriving its sound from The Grateful Dead and Phish cultures, but also branching out to other distinct genres such as psychedelic rock, reggae, funk, folk, blues, electronica, bluegrass, jazz, fusion and world music.

Spin Cycle Presents has been involved in other high profile events around the LA area such as promoting nationally recognized bands at the Wiltern, the House of Blues Anaheim and The Teragram Ballroom, just to name a few.

More info about Spin Cycle Presents here, https://www.spincyclepresents.com

Veterans Independence Foundation was founded by Neil Blitstein and Clay Mathis to help struggling Veterans.

Neil met Clay after Clay's wife Melissa and Neil returned from a deployment. Neil was injured and waiting for his VA benefits to kick-in. Clay's wife Melissa, was in the same boat.

Having realized that the benefits can and in our case did take years to settle. In the meantime, the bills still needed to be paid. They started the foundation to offer assistance to those Veterans that find themselves requiring short term assistance.

You can learn more about the foundation here. https://heretohelpvets.org