“From the stately if newish beams of the Libbey Bowl in downtown Ojai, to the oaks that nestle around the Spanish-tiled but still potentially combustible shell of the Libbey Park Gazebo in the park, to the Zalk Theater just outside the eastern end of town, the venues for the Ojai Festival of 2018 have been preserved from the ravages of the Thomas Fire with no damage to any concert venue,” writes Joseph Mailander in Thursday’s (12/14) LA Weekly. “ ‘The whole town was saved through very active firefighting,’ [said] Jamie Bennett, Ojai Festival president and CEO…. The fire and smoke necessitated mandatory evacuations.… The hangover haze of smoke and ashes persists even now…. Zalk Theater at Besant Hill School in Upper Ojai … emerged unscathed but other structures at the school were damaged or lost. Libbey Park was donated to the Ojai Civic Association a hundred years ago this past April, in 1917…. A fire destroyed much of the original downtown that same year. As the festival’s primary venue, Libbey Bowl’s own original timber shell and wooden benches, so familiar to so many L.A. contemporary classical fans over the years, were replaced in 2011 with less combustible material.”

Posted December 18, 2017