Redondo Beach was taken by storm May 3rd-5th as the hottest new festival hit the beachfront sands! That's right, the inaugural BeachLife Festival was in full swing by noon Friday, with perfect weather, plenty of space to roam around, a stage on the sand, some of the biggest beach names on the ballad and a Ruby's restaurant open only to festivalgoers in the middle of it all. From SoCal heroes Slightly Stoopid to the east coasters Roots of Creation, reggae-rock met jam band vibes all day long (with musical legends in between).
… Deadheads adorning tie-dye shirts were freaking and wiggling to familiar favorites…
Alinea preceeded island goddess Anuhea before the main stage kicked off with the aforementioned Roots of Creation, who naturally showcased remixed dubby jams off their Grateful Dub album. Considering Grateful Dead's Bob Weir was closing the night down, assembled Deadheads adorning tie-dye shirts were freaking and wiggling to familiar favorites as far as the eye could see. The smaller Riptide Stage near the entrance rarely stopped jamming, with groovy sounds of The Higgs wafting over the food trucks while Donavon Frankenreiter shredded on guitar next door on the sandy Lowtide Stage. Bruce Hornsby and his Noisemakers were next on the main Hightide Stage, bringing a mellow touch to the day while Sack Lunch geared up on the Riptide, sporting surfing celeb Rob Machado on guitar. Longtime reggae greats Steel Pulse were up next; their onstage antics are entertaining all on their own, let alone the long list of hits they've acquired over the years. Bassist Amlak even crawled his way through the VIP balcony mid-song for photo ops! Clayton Joseph Scott started just as the sun was beginning to set, as Chris Robinson (of The Black Crowes) launched into his As The Crow Flies set.
Wrapping up the Lowtide Stage was (initially) a Slightly Stoopid acoustic set… that is, until Bobby Weir grabbed a guitar to join the boys in a once-in-a-lifetime full band collab of Dead and Tom Petty songs. Soaring on Festival Cloud 9, Deadheads were lifted ever-higher by Weir & Wolf Bro's, chiming in at all the right audience participatory times to classic Dead songs. As Bobby brought Day One to a close, attendees realized it was only 9pm, meaning it was time to after party on the pier! Day Two and Three promised even more fun, prompting some attendees to be smart and opt for bed. Regardless of late night destination, all were ready to continue the party the next day. Coverage of Day Two and Three are to come, so stay tuned!
Photography by Kristy Rose