Here’s what happened at Day One of the BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach
It was pretty much a perfect summer day at the beach.
Clear skies and cool comfortable weather greeted the BeachLife Festival as it arrived in Redondo Beach this weekend bringing 40 bands to the usually tranquil Seaside Lagoon and surrounding area plus thousands of music fans to what could become the city’s signature musical event.
“This is the best thing this area has had in years,” said 47-year-old Redondo Beach resident Shaun Brown as he walked through the gates and into the 8.6 acre waterside concert site that featured three stages with headlining act Bob Weir on Friday, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys on Saturday and Willie Nelson closing it out Sunday.
“It feels good, the stage is great, it’s massive, it’s awesome,” he said as he stood in front of the Hightide stage slightly before noon on day one of the festival.
Put together by 41-year-old South Bay native Allen Sanford and his 46-year-old business partner Rob Lissner, the festival includes a 50-seat pop-up restaurant on the side of the Hightide Stage, which was the main stage area where three star chefs crafted entrees inspired by the music through the weekend.
There were several VIP areas, a craft beer and curated wine village, a row of food trucks, 20 food vendors, and second floor cabanas overlooking the main stage.
Besides the open-air pop-up restaurant, the Hightide Stage stood out as the focal point of the festival thanks to its picturesque green lawn.
Albeit it was astroturf, but man it looked pretty.
“This is just beautiful. Like a picnic,” said 35-year-old Jaime Watkins, as she lay on a blanket by the stage waiting for the Roots of Creation set.
Other acts on opening day included Slightly Stoopid doing an acoustic set, Bruce Hornsby and As the Crow Flies featuring Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes.
And their music set the vibe for an easy-going day at the beach.
The crowd slowly trickled in throughout the day with lines to get into the venue moving unbelievably quick, especially for a first year nearly sold out event as people reported waiting times of maybe 5-10 minutes at the most by 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon.
And the crowd here was pretty chill throughout the day.
Most appeared to be in their 30s or older, with several more experienced folks bedecked in tie-dyed shirts and long beards all around, perhaps because Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead was headlining. ‘
But there were also several young families lime Torrance resident Chivaz Fujimoto and his three-year-old son Bo Fujimoto.
“I think it’s awesome here,” he said. “It’s chill, it’s a chill vibe. It’s not a super young crowd which actually fits my lifestyle a little more,” he added.
Besides the music the cool vibe was augmented by live painters, a vintage flea market, a tepee tent where you had to take your shoes off to get in a chill, a game area on the sand with a game of giant beer pong.
What made it giant?
The cups were red trash cans. The ping pong balls were basketballs.
And speaking of sand, the Lowtide Stage was right on the sand, where people paid out blankets as they heard bands like Anuhea and Steel Pulse and Slightly Stoopid continue to set the easy beach vibe.