Interview by Tonia Trotter
Photos by Ambre Amari
Cukorakko Music & Arts Festival was a well-attended annual event for the past several years. What inspired you to rebrand it? What is your intention with Rakkos Revival?My original partners and I all found ourselves presented with different opportunities and decided to part ways to pursue those projects. For me and my new partner Thomas Diasio, it seemed like the right time to refocus on what part we wanted to play in our community. We had started to grow in a direction that didn’t feel authentic anymore. And while the festival has always been family-friendly, I would say that now we are more family-focused.I hope that Rakkos feels like the antithesis of a music festival. We’re calling it a “gathering” — a chance to enjoy the combination of sonic and visual arts in partnership with each other and the natural landscape in a way that feels more restorative. My background is in hospitality, and I hope to create a memorable experience for patrons who will return year after year with their children and grandchildren.
What can attendees expect to experience at this event?
We have a great lineup of bands ranging from new grass to Americana and rock. The stage is integrated into incredible boulder formations (among the oldest surface rocks in the Northern Hemisphere as well as a top climbing destination in the state), and the acoustics are incredible! In addition, there will be live art performances in a range of mediums and a ceramics workshop with a kiln where people can make their own pottery. There will be yoga classes, food trucks, and a drum circle during the weekend too!
I hope that people can take what they want from the weekend. Maybe that’s an opportunity to relax and commune with nature while enjoying the arts. Maybe that’s diving into all the experiences available, catching every set, and staying up all night. You can really set your own pace.
In addition to the art and music experiences at Rakkos Revival, you have a nonprofit element to this gathering. What is your mission?
We have partnered with Space One Eleven, a Birmingham-based nonprofit running for over 30 years. They offer art lessons for kids and seniors and hire artists to teach those classes, helping support them by paying them a living wage in a field where they aren’t always able to support themselves. Ten percent of our proceeds will benefit Space One Eleven, and we will provide other opportunities for people to learn more about the program and contribute.