TVD Live Shots: BeachLife Festival,

WORDS AND IMAGES: CHRIS LOOMIS | The celebration of music, art, and Southern California beach life culture—that is BeachLife Festival. Now in its fourth year (2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19) this epic event took place May 5th–7th in beautiful Redondo Beach, CA with another outstanding and diverse lineup featuring some of music’s biggest acts with headliners The Black Keys, Gwen Stefani, The Black Crowes, Modest Mouse, Sublime with Rome, John Fogerty, and a long list of many others.

With four stages well placed amongst the festival grounds, each day was packed with over 8 hours of music as well as a Popup Art Gallery from Punk Rock & Paintbrushes, lots of beer choices, silent auctions, games, and lots of food choices from all over Southern California. The weather was about 70 degrees with mostly sunny skies all weekend—BeachLife 2023 was on track to become the best one yet.

The large Hightide stage was placed in a beautiful open area with synthetic grass, VIP areas were perfectly placed on each side of the stage for prime comfort and viewing. The Lowtide stage was a 2-minute walk out onto the beach where additional VIP areas flanked each side of the area. The Riptide stage was a small stage out on the blacktop where you could grab a beer and watch the performers and the Speakeasy stage was a very small, intimate stage under a small covering that allowed you to enjoy the performances in the shade. The Vinyl District was on location in Redondo Beach on Friday and Saturday to catch all the excitement that BeachLife had to offer.

Friday the crowd started to increase in size late in the afternoon, while Saturday was filled with early-birds as by 2:00pm as the festival grounds were packed—Saturday was the only day to reach a complete sell-out but the three-day event tallied over 40,000 music lovers. The Hightide Stage was the main attraction throughout the weekend and Alternative Rock veterans The Pixies rocked BeachLife Friday evening with an hour long set that included a brief mosh-pit (the only one seen all weekend). The Black Keys fronted by vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney closed out the day with an epic set that included mega hits “Lonely Boy” and “Gold on the Ceiling” among others.

Saturday the Hightide stage had a large crowd at 2:00pm as SoCal natives and BeachLife alumni Sugar Ray had everyone singing and waving their hands as Mark McGrath and company played a nostalgic set of ’90s anthems that was super fun to experience. Band of Horses was another highlight on the Hightide stage but the main reason most were present Saturday was to experience the “Queen of Orange County” Gwen Stefani. Stefani played a high energy/feel-good set that was the perfect mixture of No Doubt songs and songs from her solo career.

The Lowtide stage set right in the sand on the beach gave you that real concert on the beach feel and puts “the Beach” in BeachLife Festival. This stage was packed with talent and energy all day Friday and Saturday with rockers Modest Mouse closing out the day on Friday with some of the more aggressive sounds of the day, while Saturday had Long Beach natives Sublime with Rome closeout the day. The fans absolutely packed the beach area for Sublime with Rome as they played their debut studio album 40oz. to Freedom in its entirety—definitely a highlight of the weekend. Other highpoints included rapper Schwayze, Aly & AJ, as well as reggae rockers Iration.

The Riptide stage focused on local and up and coming artists with the standout being young rockers XYZPDQ and the Speakeasy stage had Zander Schloss from The Circle Jerks and Johnny Two Bags from Social Distortion each perform an intimate acoustic set.

In addition to the music BeachLife had fun things to do throughout the festival grounds—Cornhole and other games, a karaoke bar, art galleries, and if you were up for spending a little extra cash you could experience a dining event side stage during certain performances with a four-course meal prepared by some of the greatest gourmet chefs and culinary experts in the business while you enjoyed the live music.

And the finest part of BeachLife Festival is that a portion of all proceeds goes towards supporting environmental causes. With a focus on philanthropy, as well as eco-friendly and sustainable initiatives, by attending BeachLife Festival you can help keep SoCal beaches clean.

Each year BeachLife continues to be the premier SoCal music festival and they out-do what they have done the previous year. With that said BeachLife 2024 will no doubt have an epic lineup that we anxiously await to be announced.

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