As many of you know, our most recent RagFest was in the fall of 2019 at Brea's Curtis Theatre. We had an outstanding lineup of phenomenal ragtime musicians, and the turnout to see and hear them perform surpassed our hopes and projections. Patrons continued to stream through the courtyard all afternoon and those who wanted an upholstered seat and to be indoors staked their spots inside the theater.
After the dinner break, nearly all of the performers reconvened backstage for the 8 pm revue. Patrons weren't shy about coming back after dinner, filling the auditorium to near capacity. Their support and enthusiasm were well justified: Headliners like Adam Swanson delivered multiple socko solos, RagFest veterans like Andrew Barrett, Brad Kay, Johnny Hodges, Vincent Johnson and Ryan Wishner brought down the house with their selections and performances, and the show's wrap-up, a rousing rendition of "Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey?" arranged and conducted by RagFest veteran Bob Pinsker, was a doozy that had the audience on its feet.
In the waning months of 2019 and into early 2020, we began preparing for RagFest 2020. As our 20th anniversary festival, we had planned to create a singular event with a handful of features to commemorate the special occasion. The festival was slated for Saturday, November 8, and the staffs of RagFest and the Curtis began coordinating their efforts.
All that came to a grinding halt with the March lockdown. By summer, when it became apparent that very few if any public events would be possible in the fall, the decision was made to cancel RagFest and look ahead to 2021.
We're at the point now, and as of Memorial Day weekend 2021, no agreements have been reached between the festival and the venue. Once the Curtis gives us the green light, we'll be able to assemble a lineup of talent, schedule the individual "performer showcase" sets for the afternoon and start creating our evening revue show.
So far, no word back from the venue, so we here at RagFest are waiting for some kind of definite word.
Whenever that comes down, we'll post the details here on our website and will deliver a mass e-mail to let everyone know what to expect.
If we'll be doing RagFest 2021, you'll be apprised of the date, ticket prices, how and where to buy tickets, and which ragtime musicians you'll be seeing.
If not, we'll announce that too.
Either way, we want to keep our fans in the loop. Once more scheduled indoor performance activities begin to become more commonplace, we'll be assembling a schedule for the O.C. Ragtime Society so you'll know when and where you'll be able to attend these fun, off-the-cuff, informal performances.
We’re hoping we'll be able to do the same with RagFest, so stay tuned for further updates!