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La Pine Rock City: The inaugural R3 Festival rocks out for parks and rec 

What you can expect from Dfive9 at R3 in La Pine this weekend. So, you need to raise some money for your local parks and

What you can expect from Dfive9 at R3 in La Pine this weekend. So, you need to raise some money for your local parks and recreation district...Bake sale? Carnival? Cakewalk? Oh, wait, no how about a mega rock and roll festival? Yeah that's the ticket!

Such is the case in La Pine, which is host this weekend to the R3 Festival (Rock Reggae Rap), a two-day romp featuring a lineup of local and regional acts that's strong on the heavier rock, but with a few reggae and hip-hop acts also thrown into the mix. The festival is headed up by the locally based Back Alley Records, who will donate a portion of the proceeds to help the La Pine Park & Recreation District, which unlike its Bend counterpart, is an unfunded special district that runs on grants and donations.

"We as a board had the idea of using our park and rec facilities for fun. We thought, 'Let's have a concert here, how can we do that?'" says Tony Debone, the chairperson of the park district's board of directors.

After collaborating with Back Alley, the festival grew legs, despite the fact that it began with basically no budget, according to R3 co-organizer Stephanie Wagner. Even with few initial resources, the R3 has managed to attract a lineup of 40 bands for the outdoor/indoor festival slated to take place at the White School Park Building. Of course it helps when these bands all agree to play pro bono.
"We're trying to help these bands get noticed, get the word out about them," Wagner says of the lineup, which she says materialized in part thanks to a connect-the-dots style networking between bands.


There are some familiar locals heading up the festival, including Bend's metal heroes Vengeance Creek and Tentareign, as well as Redmond's punk/ska newcomers Necktie Killer. Bringing in some reggae flavor from the other side of the mountains is Portland's Outpost and fellow PDXers Dfive9 looking to dazzle the main stage crowd with a melodic metal sound.

Who else is filling up the three stages? Bands include Sagebrush Rock, Grynch, Northwest Royale, Forrestals Fall, Snap Point, Makeshift, The Audio Sequence, Povciti, Amara, Thorns of Creation Frankie Hernandez Band and Mr. Potato.

While the outdoor main stage is home to some heavier acts, the gnarliest of the metal action will, not surprisingly, be taken indoors - inside the White School Building for a second venue that organizers have accurately dubbed "The Pit."

"Obviously, we figured out that bands like Day of Death and Bloodlust aren't family oriented bands for an outdoor show," DeBone says. Other bands (including several locals) set to shred The Pit include quintessentially rockin' names like Only Nightmares, Hands on Throat and In the Advent of Horror.

As for the crowd that will come to the festival grounds, organizers aren't quite sure what sort of response to expect. But, given that Wagner says the bands alone make up about 250 people, there's little reason to expect a no-show crowd.

"We have a maximum capacity of 2,500, but we'd be happy to see between 800 and 1,000 people show up," Wagner says.

But whatever the turnout, R3 is surely going to be the talk of a town that might need something to talk about.

"[Festival organizers and parks and rec] wanted something different to wake up La Pine. They didn't want another quilt show," Wagner says.

This sure as hell ain't no quilt show.

R3 Festival Rock Reggae Rap
Friday-Saturday August 15-16. Two day passes: $20/advanced, $30/gate. Visit www.r3festival.com for a complete lineup and details. 

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