Celebration of Southern California hits the East Village in Downtown
By Logan Broyles | SDUN Reporter
For years, San Diego music lovers have been trying to fill the void left behind when Street Scene was shut down in 2009. Fans may be in luck, thanks to this year’s first SoCal Music Festival, being held one day over Labor Day weekend.
Three of San Diego’s biggest hitters in the entertainment industry, the RMD Group, Eventvibe.com and McFarlane Promotions, have joined forces to bring an “ultimate outdoor festival” to help bring live music – along with other community-based events – back to the streets of San Diego.
On Sunday, Sept. 1, the East Village in Downtown will be transformed for a day and night of live music, art exhibits, skateboard competitions, go-go dancers, and food and drink specials from some of San Diego’s bars and restaurants. Additionally, there will be an interactive fun zone hosted by Vavi and a food-tasting competition held by some of the many gourmet food trucks around town.
“The SoCAL Music festival offers its guests a chance to experience and embrace the Southern California lifestyle through music, arts, visual effects and taste,” said Laurel McFarlane, CEO of McFarlane Promotions. With offices downtown, McFarlane Promotions organizes other large-scale street festivals, including ShamROCK and Monster Bash.
A lineup of popular local bands and electronic dance music artists will be performing across four stages. Included in the lineup are bands Vokab Company and Hyena, both award winners at this year’s San Diego Music Awards, held Monday, Aug. 13. Vokab Company won Best Hip-Hop Artist and Hyena won Best Electronic Artist.
Vokab Company won’t be performing again in San Diego until December, so they will be putting on a special show for attendees. “We have to bring something different to any show we play, especially when in our hometown,” the band said. “The last show we did in San Diego, we had some troops take stage in a Russian battle, a live viola player and a cover about how it feels to be a gangster.”
The group said they look forward to the great atmosphere that a festival held on the streets of Downtown offers.
“It reminds me of the days of old, when we could party in the streets of East Village with all sorts of different bands and DJs playing, beer flowing and the summer nights crackin’.”
Mike Cooper of Hyena said fans will be treated to a “high energy,” and “live, indie electro” show.
“Some of our great friends will be sharing the stage with us, [including] Family Wagon and Vokab Company,” Cooper said. “The promoters are great friends and we love the headliners involved.”
In addition, there will be individual performances by Family Wagon, Designer Drugs, Norin & Rad, Cold War Kids and Bay-area hip-hop legend, Too $hort. In total, the festival’s organizers said they anticipate that, including guest appearances during sets, there will be about 35 total acts hitting the stages.
“McFarlane and RMD Group are synonymous with putting on great events,” said Family Wagon. “We just knew that if they were involved, it meant a great time.”
For other community-based aspects of the festival, there will also be interactive art exhibits, including a spinning “Psychedelic SoCal Flower” constructed by 15 different artists. The flower mimics a California poppy, and was created using common California beach-life items, like surfboards, skateboards and bicycle parts.
Additionally, Red Bull San Diego will be bringing a lineup of professional skateboarders for several competitions.
The Sept. 1 festival is from 2 p.m. to midnight, on five blocks in Downtown. The 21-and-older event spans from Ninth Avenue to Park Boulevard, with the main gate located at Ninth Avenue and G Street. General admission tickets start at $40, with VIP tickets starting at $65. For more information visit socalfestival.com or call 619-233-5008.