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FestForums honors Jon Anderson, Ray Parker Jr., and Penelope Spheeris and best of fests



The fifth annual Fest Forums in Santa Barbara brought together world famous musicians, directors, festival founders, and merchants.

They are drawn to the event created by Laurie Kirby and Stu MacNaught.

"What we have done is bring festivals from all over the world to the most beautiful locale, I think, in the country for three days of networking and panels, live music, parties, living legends and so much more," said Kirby.

FestForums wrapped up with an awards ceremony at the Santa Barbara Hilton.

Best of Fest awards went to 10 festivals celebrating everything from dogs to science films and timely whistleblowers.

Yes lead singer Jon Anderson who calls Arroyo Grande home brought his family.

"It is wonderful to be here at FestForums. I'll be able to sing a couple of songs, and everyone can have a good time."

Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang presented Anderson with one of 3 Living Legend Awards.

"I love this festival, I have been coming for several years. It is just always a treat to come to Santa Barbara from the wilds of Woodstock," said Lang.

Ray Parker Jr., known for writing the Ghostbusters' theme, and other hits won a Living Legend Award, too.

He told Anderson he used to play Roundabout when he was starting out.

Parker said "It's unbelievable the feeling and emotion here."

Living Legend recipient and self-described punk Penelope Spheeris was also honored. The director of The Decline of Western Civilization, Suburbia and Wayne's World held up her Living Legend bowl trophy like a top hat. She was equally funny during a conversation with Kirby earlier in the day.

Spheeris said Roger Korman told her films needs sex or violence every 10 minutes. She said her Wayne's World income helped her buy seven homes.

She also talked about tripping at Burning Man and gave the crowd some advice. Spheeris said if you believe in it, stick with it.

She reminisced about working with Richard Pryor, Chris Farley, Lily Tomlin, Rob Lowe, Lorne Michaels and others.

Networking at the forums could lead to collaborations.

Michele Gray Rundgren, a member of The Tubes, and wife of Todd Rungren is working on a Tiki Festival and invited Jon Anderson to Princeville, Hawaii where she runs Tiki Iniki bar and restaurant.

Skip Martin of Kool & The Gang had people on their feet dancing as he closed the event on Friday night.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
jon anderson
Laurie Kirby
penelope Spheeris
Ray Parker jr.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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