Ever since Street Scene San Diego evaporated into salty coastal air over a decade ago, SD residents have had to live with a hole in their hearts. Street Scene represented not only the best in entertainment, but the unique city itself: residing smack dab in the middle of downtown’s Gaslamp District, not some arid stretch of desert hours away. That was the city’s festival — for the city, by the city. Since its departure, other festivals around the city have risen although few come close to its reign. CRSSD keeps the rave kids happy; KAABOO Del Mar pleases the wealthy of all ages. Yet, KAABOO is isolated as its own entity; you can’t really explore past the Del Mar Racetrack fence. And, you definitely cannot leave and come back! So many restrictions.
… Wonderfront Festival promises to showcase the spirit of San Diego …
Residents of San Diego recall the good ol’ times, when you can wander around the city’s bustling streets, catching a bite to eat at a local restaurant in between music stages and art installations. Cue a couple local celebrities to the rescue. Pro skater and San Diego native Tony Hawk has had enough. Hawk took his lavish ideas for a multi-day musical event to his friends, pro surfer Rob Machado and the Padres’ Trevor Hoffman, who agreed to go all in for the first annual Wonderfront Festival.
Set to host seven stages, 80 bands and 300,000 guests, the premiere Wonderfront Festival promises to showcase the spirit of San Diego this upcoming November 22nd-24th. What better way to welcome the holidays than with a giant festival putting everyone in good cheer? Wonderfront will stretch the entire span of downtown’s Seaport Village (and a little beyond), with ends at the Hilton Hotel and the Broadway Port Pier. Being on the water, attendees have the option to hop between musical stages on a 400 person water taxi or splurge for sunset boat cruises and beyond. Talk about premium viewing. Speaking of when the sun goes down, the party doesn’t end after the music stops. Just like Street Scene, festivalgoers are encouraging to disperse into the hopping nightlife of the Gaslamp, Little Italy and the East Village.
Now, with the city’s eclectic musical tastes comes the challenge to build a lineup to everyone’s liking. San Diego is known for reggae rock legends, alt-fusion bands and, naturally, a big Top 40 emphasis at the clubs. A well-rounded lineup is crucial. Moreover, the initial installment of artists has to get the hype going for ticket sales. It could make or break a fledgling fest. Hawk, Hoffman and Machado know this all too well apparently, for they hit the nail on the head. The first artists announced for Wonderfront Year One are local reggae-rockers Slightly Stoopid, bluesy Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals and alternative heavyweights MGMT at the top of the list. But, that epic triad is only scraping the surface. Also to perform is Walk The Moon, Michael Franti & Spearhead, X Ambassadors, Phantogram, Bob Moses, Tribal Seeds, Thievery Corporation, Manchester Orchestra, Pepper, Common Kings, Parquet Courts, Hippo Campus, The Knocks, Moon Taxi, .grandson, Grace Vanderwaal, Bad Suns, Japanese Breakfast, Alice Merton, Broods, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, English Beat, Boombox, Donna Missal, Allie X, Susnsquabi, Andi Frasco & The U.N., Ghost Light, Earthless, Schizophonics, Capyac, SFM, Henry + The Invisibles, The Routine, Haddon Cord and (naturally) Rob Machado making an appearance with friends.
What about the hip hop and EDM scene, you say? Hold on, we’re not done. With more artists to be announced, other stages will host Miguel, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Vince Staples, Big Gigantic, Tyga, Lil Dicky, Big Wild, STS9, Lil Baby, Busta Rhymes, Aminé, Flatbush Zombies, 3LAU, Tokimonsta, Bryce Vine, Jonas Blue, Ari Lennox, Bas, Earthgang, Duchwrth, Fakear, Chrome Sparks, Goldfish, Sodown, Exmag, Cofresi, Gioi & Assia, Wild Prxfits and Jordan Hollywood. For those of the Latin persuasion, south of the border entertainment includes Nicky Jam, Don Omar, Los Angeles Azules, Tucanes de Tijuana, Zion & Lennox, CNCO, Banda Los Sebastianes, Reykon, Ximena Sariñana, Diamante Eléctrico, Victoria La Mala, Chesca and Marie Monti.
At this point, there’s one denomination left out… we’re aware. Don’t you fret, punk rockers, since Tony Hawk is bringing back the Huck Jam on a special skate ramp stage. Get ready to mosh at the half pipe, since Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, X, The Vandals and all of it emceed by DJ Z-Trip. Don’t be surprised if Hawk hops on a board himself.
With a list like this, you would think the lineup is complete. Oh, darling, we’ve only just begun. More artists will be disclosed by the end of summertime, so make sure to grab your weekend passes now before prices hike! Early bird tickets go on sale this Friday, June 7th, allowing you to secure your Wondefront experience at the lowest price. For more information, visit the links below or www.wonderfrontfestival.com.