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3 Days in Space ready for launch

In only its second year, 3 Days in Space is almost sold out days before it opens this weekend. Act quickly to snag admission to this hot ticket of a festival at The Empty Space.

The three-day music festival burst on the scene last summer, organized by Dylan Geurtsen of Killer Kern Records and wife Cory, who serves as the Oak Street theater's artistic director. Its lineup featured a mix of artists from the local label as well as special guests from Southern California. Coming at a time when bands were keen to get back in front of crowds and audiences wanted the live experience, 3 Days packed the Space.

"There were such good vibes all around," Dylan Geurtsen wrote in an email about the inaugural event. "We had people still talking about it months after and asking when the next one would be. The response from out-of-town bands was great too: They saw what a great little thing we have going on in our town."

Geurtsen said they opted to move the event to spring to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. (Last year's festival took place during 100-plus degree days that taxed the theater's air conditioner.)

This year's lineup features 11 returning bands and 14 new acts.

"It was really difficult not bringing everybody back but we had to keep it fresh," he said. "Next year will be very different as well."

Friday evening's lineup consists of Niner Niner, The Chavez Ravine, Strange Vine, Lazy Beam and Band Called Kevin. 

Saturday's afternoon bands are Modern Wives, Dropping In, Indigo Hush, Delphinium and Worse Things By Better People, starting at 1 p.m. That evening at 7 p.m., If It Kills You, States of Nature, Contranistas, RVRBoy and Norfolk will perform.

Sunday's performances start at noon with Make Mine Yours, Lou Beauty, Eunith, The Ccircle and Heartwrench.  The evening set kicks off at 6 p.m. with The Binges, Alpine Decline, Pretty Flowers, Some Gifts and Still Missing.

Doors open a half-hour before showtime.

Along with the bands, the festival will feature DJ Phantom Stranger spinning between sets and liquid light projections by Mellow Doses.

There will also be a record sale with existing Killer Kern releases and new albums including Riley Geare's 7-inch vinyl "Time b​/​w Joker's Chair," Imaginary Persons’ "Born In Time" and the new Squatcho LP, "Out Of Place."

Also for sale is "Killer Kern Records Annual Vol. 1," which designer Erwin Ledford calls "a bit of a retrospective on Killer Kern’s accomplishments in 2021."

"It is 28 full color pages featuring photography from last year’s 3 Days in Space festival by photographer Joseph Michael Ruiz, stunning album art designs from several local bands who all released a vinyl record under Killer Kern in 2021, as well as interior illustrations and a cover design by me," Ledford wrote in an email.

Ledford will be out at the event at the merchandise booth with the ’zine ($5), some of his personal artwork and comics as well as the specially designed event T-shirt featuring Ledford's doodles inspired by vintage pulp sci-fi book covers.

"One of the things I enjoy most about working with Killer Kern Records is how much they let me play with the designs I do for them, without overthinking the process or concept," he wrote. "It feels truly collaborative when you can see the odd quirks of my comic work come through in the designs I do for them."

Shirts, available in 1950s-era-appropriate colors of gold, navy and cool will be sold for $20. Shirts from last year, designed with one of Ledford's robots, will also be available in limited supply.

Geurtsen hopes attendees leave the festival with "some T-shirts, records and a sense of community."

Proceeds from ticket sales go directly to the bands and the nonprofit theater.

And those tickets are going fast. Saturday night's concert is sold out and, as of press time, the three-day pass was in limited supply. There are still tickets for other sets so you should be able to enjoy a good afternoon or evening or two of music but don't wait or you'll be waiting until next year.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.