In a summer sea and fall frenzy of music festivals, one that has completely stood out has been Blended Festival. An unusual match of music and wine turned out to equal the ultimate social experience, bringing its incredible festival to three blessed cities this fall. San Diego was one of them on October 15th and 16th, spread over the Embarcadero Marina Park North. As a legitimate PERFECT blend of excellent cuisine, awesome wine and (of course) an extremely notable lineup to back it all up, it really was all the music festival vibes we needed PLUS a more mature upscale twist that really satisfied any taste out there.
If you were to ask Blended Fest president John Bazzo’s description of the festival, he’d likely say something along the lines of a ‘Coachella-type outing for a more mature audience’. BOY, is that spot-on. Festival attendees sported beautiful boho-modern wear, with giant cute sunhats to match — a perfect combination for San Diego’s perfect fall festival weather (75 and sunny). Blended SD featured a multitude of wine vendors (selling wine by the glass and by the bottle), allowing tastings of the world’s finest to wash down some five-star quality culinary experiences. We’re not joking! Blended brought some of the BEST food trucks San Diego is known for (and you can’t ever forget those… it is California, after all)! Food aside, another notable feature was the Mental Health Lounge, where people could recharge themselves and also their phones. Other cool things around the festival were the hydration stations, offering a full IV drip for only $75 or a B12 shot for $25. Hello, hangover prevention!
It’s like the festival coordinators literally thought of EVERYTHING!
I can’t even begin to describe all the incredible food that was available… there was a flavor for every appetite in the park. Also, I got to see some INSANE culinary demonstrations (throwing dough in the air kinda wild), which was one of those things I couldn’t stop watching. I was further highly impressed with the vast number of vegan options around! It’s so nice to have more than one or two different meal options, letting it be that much easier to come enjoy the fantastic wine during the day and jam OUT to the stacked lineup off music that heated up at night!
It is a real big hats off to the coordinators of the lineup for this festival; I can’t describe the beautiful blend of musicians playing San Diego as anything less than a chef’s kiss. Our major headliners — like Friday’s Loud Luxury and Deorro — appealed to the fest’s younger crowd, giving us those deep house vibes to perfectly bob your body along with your wine tumbler. Bryce Vine got the entire festival to the stage with not only his explosive personality, but his popular catchy hits, like “Sour Patch Kids” and and “Drew Barrymore”. Jowell y Randy, hailing all the way from Puerto Rico, got the crowd HYPED unlike any other performance I have ever seen, especially when they played “Bonita” (it was literally so beautiful). Saturday’s The Chainsmokers brought in fans of all generations, playing ALL the hits we wanted, plus some of their new goodies like “Takeaway” from their 2019 album World War Joy. Nelly also blessed us with an over-deliverance of hits, like “Hot in Herre”, “Dilemma” and “Ride With Me” — just to name a few. Self-proclaimed trailer-trap artist Blanco Brown was a showstopper in the making if I have ever seen one. If you weren’t already at the Main Stage from some funky opening DJ sets of superstars like Brandi Cyrus, DJ Scooter or DJ Shift, Blanco Brown had you running over for an iconic cover of “A Change is Gonna Come”(by Sam Cooke).
You’d never expect to see “expertly curated wines and tastings, and tasteful culinary experiences” in the description box for a music festival, but here we are 2021, in a new world where anything is possible and it’s safe to say the creators of Blended Fest have done just that. At the conclusion of The Chainsmokers set, president John Bazzo came onto the stage to announce that Blended would be back bigger and better than ever — score! The game has officially been changed. Traditional music festivals, watch out! Blended is out here redrawing the dang box itself.
Photography by Franny Kovacs