Bayfest is a twice-yearly festival that has worked its way into the fabric of the San Diego music scene — and with good reason. Alternating between Waterfront Park downtown and Mariner’s Point in Pacific Beach (the latter aptly named ‘Mission Bayfest‘), the mostly reggae-packed fest has morphed from a casual one-day, once-a-year event to full weekend ragers, much to every San Diegans delight!
This year’s late summer installment starred San Diego darlings, Tribal Seeds.
Mission Bayfest 2023 was their first headlining show of the year and one of the first shows welcoming back frontman, Steve I, after a year-long hiatus. Joining them on Saturday was Artikal Sound System, Eddie Zuko, The Elovaters, and HIRIE, preceded by Kyle Rising, KBong & Johnny Cosmic, Fortunate Youth, and Pepper on Friday.
Top 10 Moments of Mission Bayfest:
- It’s always a party with Fortunate Youth and Ozzie of We Should Smoke. Busting out the quintessential baby arm joint they’ve become so notorious for, Fortunate Youth also threw giant inflatable joints into the crowd, care of RAW Rolling Papers, as Dan Kelly crooned their classic banger “Roll One Up”.
- I will never stop talking about Pepper and their closing song of the 20 Years of Konatown set, a cover of Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)”. This is the fifth time I’ve seen this set live and Every. Single. Time. the entire crowd absolutely loses their minds when this song comes on. It’s a beautiful thing to witness.
- Sunset on Friday was mind-bendingly gorgeous. Pinks, oranges, reds, purples, streaked the cloud-dotted sky and for a moment we all collectively stopped where we stood and just stared at the sky in awe.
- Artikal Sound System kicked off Saturday with their rendition of “One Day” by Katastro, keeping Andy’s memory alive one set at a time. There was also tons of Katastro merch being worn by festival goers.
- I was first put on to Eddie Zuko via Dirty Heads on their most recent tour and was itching to see them live, because if Jared Watson approves, they must be good right? Eddie Zuko did not disappoint, and their high energy set on Saturday set the tone for the entire day.
- The Elovaters got a rainbow during their set! As Jackson Wetherbee serenaded us in the rain to “Sunlight”, a cheeky little rainbow popped up behind the crowd reassuring us that the rain wouldn’t last all day.
- This seems mundane, but the canned Deep Eddy vodka drinks were clutch for the weekend. Stronger and better tasting than a seltzer, those magic bullets kept us all going.
- As day turned to night during HIRIE’s set Saturday, this Hawaii girl’s set offered a little taste of home as the rain came down for a solid twenty minutes.
- Tribal Seeds had a string quartet! Led by Eric Hirschhorn (most notable for his work with Rebelution), the group added the coolest vibe the headlining set complete with alien visuals on the LED screen.
- Top three outfits of the weekend goes to: Kyle Rising (dressed eerily similar to Jim Morrison), Logan Rex in oversized camo fatigues paired with a one shoulder crop top, and HIRIE rocking 90’s-esque windbreaker pants and a silver sequined halter top with Jordans.