Cedar City has had its fair share of record stores through the years, but none so determined on leaving their mark on the local music industry as the hard working couple from Oregon that gave Southern Utah the Groovefest American Music Festival.
For those not in the know, “Groovefest” is a free, once a year, week long, musical smorgasbord that delights music lovers who travel to Cedar City from all over the country by introducing them to quality musical acts that celebrate the roots of American music.
Though Groovacious has been open since 1992, the Cretsinger’s have only been a part of the Cedar City community since 2000. Before that, Tim said their previous location was in Keizer, Ore., a smaller suburb town not too far from Portland, one of the musical meccas of the Pacific Northwest.
The decision to leave their home store in Keizer wasn’t an easy one said Tim. However, despite the success the couple already had there, he said they knew the market in the area was so saturated that it would be difficult really add anything new to the already well-developed scene.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” Tim said. “We didn’t know a soul here.”
Tim said that while on vacation visiting the parks in ’96, he and his wife Lisa fell in love with the southwest terrain and knew that one day they wanted to relocate to the region, but they were still unsure of where.
After exploring parts of New Mexico and Arizona, Tim said that it become obvious to both of them that southern Utah, more specifically Cedar City, would be the perfect new community to establish a good foundation.
Not only was the economy booming then, but also Tim said the scenery was beautiful and the location on a map was ideal, because it was a throughway for many musicians to get from one gig to another while on tour. Of the many amenities, Cedar City had to offer, the fact that it was situated directly in the middle of the “I-15 corridor” was a major plus to the Cretsingers, he said.
“It was right between big places,” Tim said. “But it’s still small.”
While the tiny town has always had a diverse and rich culture of music, Tim said he felt like there was a wide-open opportunity to enrich the musical livelihood of the community.
“We wanted to go somewhere where we could make a difference,” He said.
In June 2012 it became evident that through their hard work and dedication to the community the Cretsingers had indeed made a difference – they helped to “make Cedar City a cultural destination for music” according to the city proclamation they were awarded. Councilmember Ron Adams declared by way of public announcement that June 23 will “forever be known” as “Groovefest American Music Festival Day” in Cedar City, in celebratory gratitude for all of Tim and Lisa’s hard work and effort in putting together the music festival.
Groovefest is not the only way that Groovacious owners have contributed largely to the musical community in Cedar City. In addition to booking regular musical acts to perform in their store and at various venues throughout the community, Tim and Lisa have also helped to produce and promote local talent looking to break in to the world of music.
Though Open Mic Night is no longer a part of the stores regular activities, for thirteen years the Cretsinger’s invited anyone interested to come and openly share their talents for all to see. Tim said they stopped doing it recently, because they didn’t feel as though it was being taken seriously, but there is always a chance open mic could see a revival in the future if the demand arises.
Perhaps it is the comfortable, cozy atmosphere that invites customers to stay a while and visit when they shop at Groovacious, or – maybe it’s the way the Cretsingers seem to know most of their customer’s first names by heart. Either way, for the past 13 years, many other small-town stores have come and gone, but Groovacious has not only stood the test of time, it has also persevered and left a dynamic legacy in its wake.
More information about Groovacious is available www.groovacious.com