Following another critical success in 2021, the biggest little festival to hit Southern California is back. BeachLife Festival will take place May 13–15 at the same King Harbor location with another massive lineup.
“While we are considered a ‘boutique festival’ in terms of capacity, our lineup is as massive as other festivals five times our size!” says Katie Henley, BeachLife marketing director. Close enough that you don’t need to drive, it may be one of the only festivals in the world where the bicycle valet busts at the seams.
Friday kicks off with Weezer and 311 as coheadliners,
but throw in Black Pumas, Cold War Kids, Milky Chance, Cannons and Atlas Genius, and it almost seems like a vintage KROQ lineup. A local favorite, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, is a definite can’t-miss, as they bring the Beach Cities’ favorite reggae-punk-rasta acoustically to the SpeakEasy Stage. If that is not enough, vocalist Roby Rogers will also appear.
On Saturday, The Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots will play everyone’s favorite hits from the ’90s—keeping it fresh with the addition of Vance Joy, Capital Cities and Atlas Genius. If you aren’t already in on the catch of the day, mimosas at noon with Sugar Ray is now a tradition that can’t be missed, says BeachLife cofounder Allen Sanford.
Breaking out from last year’s acoustic set on the SpeakEasy Stage is a crowd favorite: Jim Lindberg, lead singer of Pennywise with guitarist Zacc West and the guys from WRATHS—this time on the main HighTide Stage. They will play songs from Jim’s recently released acoustic record Songs from the Elkhorn Trail by Epitaph Records. “We’re playing kind of souped-up versions of my acoustic songs and a few covers,” he shares.
“I’ll be making sure that everyone—from the audience to the bands—has as much fun as possible. It’s about everyone coming together as one and enjoying music and atmosphere like no other.”
Last but not least, Sunday is all about good vibes with old-school hits from the Steve Miller Band, Sheryl Crow and UB40. The younger crowd will be all about Lord Huron and too many other bands to mention.
According to Allen, the BeachLife motto in 2021 after all the postponements was “just get the festival done, and it’s a success,” but this year they have been able to pay more attention to details. Set to the background of the bands’ music, professional skateboarders Derek Chapin and friends will be getting some major air on the half-pipe. Also on display will be surf art by John Van Hamersveld, the iconic designer behind this year’s BeachLife poster.
Some of us remember him as a professional surfer, but Donovan Frankenreiter has been brought on this year as the director of vibe. “I’ll be making sure that everyone—from the audience to the bands—has as much fun as possible,” he says. “It’s about everyone coming together as one and enjoying music and atmosphere like no other.”
Donovan and fellow surfer Rob Machado were a big hit at the inaugural BeachLife Festival, leaving the audience wishing they weren’t playing at the same time on different stages. “I use music to escape, to feel good, to overcome anything I may be feeling,” Donovan adds. “That hour and a half on stage is the best part of the day.” For those who loved him and those who missed him, he will be performing on Saturday.
Soon a version of BeachLife will be available on the daily at Redondo’s Riviera Village with the new BeachLife Restaurant. Jacob Ramos, formerly of Cabo’s popular Sunset Monalisa and the chef in charge of the festival’s SideStage popup restaurant menu, will take the lead in creating the new restaurant’s menu as well.
Cross your fingers that all works out, and soon we will be hearing about the BeachLife lineup set for September 2022 featuring Americana and country music. Inside tips: Don’t count out any band on the lineup. Last year’s Larkin Poe, virtually an unknown band locally, played the HighTide Stage and blew off everyone’s socks.
Written by Kat Monk