Same Same But Different — a festival for freedom, funk and fun-loving individuals everywhere — returns to the shoreline of Lake Perris, CA this upcoming September 9-12th. Announced back in early April, SSBD 3 plans to bring live music and camping back to southern California without missing a COVID beat. For those wondering if it will be a little different this year (as opposed to Same Same??), we got in contact with festival co-founder Brad Sweet for intel.
SSBD is an oasis in the vast sea of similar music festivals… an ultimate escape unlike any other.
What makes SSBD so special? You’ll have to experience for yourself to understand. Now in its third year, Same Same has had growth along the way although managing to retain its original low-key essence. Sweet comments on what to expect for 2021.
How does it feel to be finally bringing back SSBD?
- BS: It feels better than I ever could have imagined. I was lucky enough to experience lots of live music through the pandemic through our streaming shows. There is some magical energy that happens through live music and performances that we all need. For many, our festival could be the first time they’re getting that, so I’m thrilled we get a chance to be a part of that healing.
What sets Same Same apart from other weekends of camping and music?
- The culture at our festival is what I believe to be the “Different”. You can find festivals with swimming, beaches, palm trees, music and everything else we do — even the weird surprises and pop-up stages… it’s all been done at other festivals, that’s the Same Same. We’ve kept it small so we could grow together with our audience and build this as one, the way we all want it to be. The culture at our festival, how people communicate with each other, help each other out, learn from one another and grow together is different from anything I’ve seen before.
The pandemic left a lot of fests in ruins. What did you and your team do to keep Same Same alive over such tumultuous times ?
- Yeah, there were a lot of endless Zoom calls that ultimately led nowhere, trying to figure things out. About one week into lockdown, we started doing streaming shows with bands and took in donations for them. We did about 25 of those shows; they raised over $10,000 and 100% went to the local musicians who played, which was nice to do.
- We also did some socially-distanced concerts that were a big hit, with less than 100 people and strict masks rules in place. Those were fun and really good for the teams to keep the spirit alive, rather than just sitting around for a year. As far as the business, it was slow and pretty boring; we were just smart with deposits and invested where we could, so we could navigate a year of being down.
What can attendees expect for 2021? Will there be any new additions (or, possibly, restrictions due to COVID)?
- There will be lots of new stuff. We are scaling up what we’ve been doing regarding installations, stages, lights, workshops and performances. We’ve always been a two-day festival, so adding two more days is exciting for us.
The fest sold out in record time. That must’ve been very reassuring! Can people interested in SSBD join a waiting list?
- Yes — I highly suggest doing it, as well. There’s a good chance we’re going to be allowed to add a little more to our capacity and we’re going to use the waitlist to fulfill those spots first. You can sign up at www.ssbdfest.com/tickets.
For those that can’t make it in the fall, are there other opportunities throughout the year to get in on SSBD events?
- The best way to know what we’re doing is through our email list on our website and following our socials @ssbdfest. At this point, nothing else is firmly planned although we have lots of ideas. Many of the venues we usually hold events at are indoors, so we’re waiting to see what guidance is handed down before planning anything.