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Three stages of music will light up 6th Ave

Strangely Alright is coming to you live at 2 p.m. on the Emerald Queen Casino Gold stage located in front of Jazzbones. Photo credit: Bill Bungard

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We're entering the portion of summer where things really begin to pay off. I mean, some of you weirdos have been enjoying this hellscape we call Washington under the thumb of climate change, but we reasonable people have been locking ourselves indoors. But now, the truly exciting parts of summer are beginning to arrive. Events are crowding around each other, causing a sort of perfect storm of music that will drift, cloud-like, around us. For us in the South Sound, the first big explosion of music and arts of the summer begins this weekend.

As we bravely trek out into the uncharacteristically hot Tacoma days, we will now be greeted with a bounty of events in which to partake. At the start of this weekend, we of course have the beginning of the Tacoma Pride Festival, which promises to be an unprecedented celebration, given the recent ruling on the part of the Supreme Court of the United States to finally grow up and give LGBT citizens the right to get married. Still, in addition to the weekend's jollification over SCOTUS' ruling, there's still another giant event that deserves your attention.

Art on the Ave is a huge event that's been playing out for years on 6th Ave. In addition to crafts booths and the array of drinks and food to be found on Tacoma's big main drag, there is a ridiculous amount of music. With three stages and a couple dozen bands, the Art on the Ave of 2015 has kept up its standard of hosting some of the best bands that Tacoma has to offer. This murderer's row of bands keeps Tacoma a thriving town for music.

For people that have been paying attention for the past few years - regardless of their musical taste - there will be a musical act that is both recognizable and appealing to your sensibilities. Ranging from the nebulous genre of indie bands to the crowd-pleasing cascade of blues-rock acts and the hazy din of reggae and funk, there's a little something for everyone in attendance. This is a gigantic event, featuring multiple stages. Art on the Ave is designed to pack the greatest amount of punch per every stretch of avenue offered.

Each stage is situated at various points down 6th Avenue and all venues offer a wide array of genres. On the O'Malley's Irish Pub-adjacent White Zone Stage, for instance, a run of bands will include the So-Cal pop-punk of Baby and the Nobodies, followed by the jazzy Billy Stoops and the Dirt Angels, and then Walkmen-indebted indie rock of the Wheelies - all of this sandwiched in the middle of an eclectic set of bands on just one of three stages.

Of the many other bands set to perform during Art on the Ave, some unmissable ones include the electro-glam punch of the Fame Riot; the Stiff Records-esque, melodic punk of Trees and Timber, the Cottonwood Cutups' charming bluegrass; the genre-bending bar-band exploits of the Fun Police; and SweetKiss Momma's Southern-fried rock.

Above all else, this is a festival made for walking around. Events like this are designed for you to wander the street, soaking in every little sound and sight that drifts your way. Art on the Ave has given you plenty of options.

ART ON THE AVE, 6th Avenue between Cedar St. and Trafton St., Sunday, July 12, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tacoma

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