This past weekend, October 22nd and 23rd, was the 5th edition of the annual Beach Goth festivities. And, of course, it rained one of the two times it ever rains in Southern California. This, however, did not rain on many festival goers’ parades, who continued to dance and splash around in giant puddles. This was all despite the chaos of cancelling acts and stage/ performance times rescheduling.
Other than the rain, Beach Goth seemed pretty similar to last year (which I covered here). This year, however, seemed to have many more people and the addition of one stage. The new stage and weird set times made scheduling which acts to photograph a bit more difficult than last year. There would be times when several people I wanted to cover overlapped, and other times I would have chunks of time with no particular acts that I was eager to cover. Nonetheless, I got to see many acts this weekend that I had been looking forward to for a long time, such as King Krule, James Blake, Corbin (fka Spooky Black), Bon Iver, and GUCCI MANE.
Both King Krule and Corbin are cool mysteries that I’ve never been able to see before, and neither disappointed. I was really excited to see Bon Iver headline Saturday night, with hopes of celebrating memories of high school, but to my distaste his whole set consisted of his newer electronic-esque music. It’s not that I don’t enjoy this music, I was just hoping to hear some of his acoustic songs that my angsty teenage years were filled with. The graphics were super cool though. The last set I saw before dodging the rain was the one and only Gucci Mane. If I said this wasn’t the set I had been most hyped for I would be 100% lying. The crowd was hyped, the rain did not dampen the moods, and it’s GUCCI. After getting to be merely feet from Guwop in the press pit at his first Cali show since being away, I headed over to VIP to meet another legend: Lil Mayo. If you don’t know Lil Mayo—1. You must be living under a rock, and 2—he is the most hyphy alien you’ll ever meet. You can find Lil Mayo on his snapchat smoking blunts, shot gunning beer, and dancing with any number of Lil Mayo groupies. He just so happened to pull up to my brother’s table to watch Gucci Mane do his thing. Lil Mayo and Gucci Mane at the same time was almost too much to handle.
The lineup was awesome, so when I found out that Beach Goth was no longer to be held at Oak Canyon Park, due to what is obviously The Growler’s idea of expanding Beach Goth, I jumped with joy. After spending 5 and a half hours in my car trying to leave the parking lot at Day n Night, I never wanted to step foot there ever again. This did not sit well with many ticket holders though, some demanding refunds. It was a little obvious that more people were trying to be fit into the Observatory grounds than last year, especially so when trying to maneuver from one stage to another. The Constellation room became almost impossible to get into a few hours after each day began as well. The security seemed much friendlier this year though, and I made a few friends passing time between sets in the press pits (waddup Stephen).
As for the future of Beach Goths to come, I’m not sure. Will I be covering it again next year? Hopefully. No matter how ragtag and unorganized Beach Goth is, there is something to be said about a festival that encourages all types of music and fans.
Check out some shots I took at Beach Goth 2016 above.