BeachLife Festival 2024: Day One

You know summer has arrived when you walk in the gates of BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach, always taking place the first weekend of May and always right on the water.

Attendees were able to sleep in a bit or even take an early Friday morning shift, with this year kicking off at a convenient 2pm.

With even more fun photo ops than last year, the fest was in full swing — right from the start — with afternoon acts Bedouin Soundclash and The Samples absolutely owning the main stages while Scott Reynolds (of All, The Pavers) consecrated the acoustic Speakeasy Stage at the back. The equally intimate Riptide Stage began with the soulful sounds of Abraham Alexander, while the main Hightide Stage welcomed a two-for-one for its second act — the folk-filled, bluesy pairing of Donavon Frankenreiter and G. Love! Two guitar virtuosos, showcasing their talents side-by-side… it doesn’t get much better than that. Between G. Love’s expert harmonica playing and surprise guests (like Dan Kelly of Fortunate Youth), BeachLife 2024 was already becoming legendary.

As the day progressed, City and Colour invited onlookers to “get emotional”, Warren Fitzgerald cracked some jokes between acoustic renditions of his work, and Jordana performed some perfect bedroom pop at the front of the fest. By the time Seal got onstage, the place was packed, full of well-dressed attendees ready for the best weekend at the beach. Seal, dressed all in white, serenaded the masses in between what turned out to be monologues… that man had come to unite the human race, right there in Redondo. As Chase Petra’s larger than life voice boomed from the Speakeasy Stage, the Lowtide Stage was set to close down with local Huntington Beach legends, Dirty Heads. These boys, always known to turn up the energy, reeled off hit after hit after hit, like “Vacation”, “Life’s Been Good”, and even the OG “Lay Me Down” — the single that got the group on the map all those years ago.

While Mix Master Mike (of the Beastie Boys) deejayed at one side of the festival and Surfer Blood closed down the Riptide Stage at the other end, the Hightide Stage was brimming with high anticipation. The main man of the night was coming out next — a treat of epic proportions. Sting, strapped to his guitar, said a quick hello to the amassed crowd before immediately launching into Police hit “Message In A Bottle”.

From the first two guitar notes, the whole place went bananas.

Everyone was singing along, almost drowning Sting out, not having a care in the world… and this was only the beginning. We still had a full Saturday and Sunday to go!

Photography by Jenna Shaw; recap by Kristy Rose

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