The Santa Cruz Music Festival Returns Next Weekend

The Santa Cruz Music Festival is back with more venues, which means more stages, and yes – more music! The last few years, the festival was held in the cold, wet months of February and March, but a new Fall date (this weekend: October 19th & 20th) gives hope for sunshine and thus, smiles. 

Besides better weather, the date change has allowed festival organizers to be more deliberate in their planning with several extra months to coordinate talent and logistics. What does that mean for you? Well, generally… a better experience. 

This year has a lot to offer! In addition to the long lineup of hand-selected artists, there are plenty of ticket options for every type of visitor. To start, VIP ticket options come with free drinks from participating bars throughout the festival, free gifts from select sponsors, and access to all the after-parties. If that’s not your style, then there are Full Experience Passes and ParkPlus Passes, as well as one-day passes available too. 

Now that the set times have been released, let’s talk about music. Chances are you already know who Hippie Sabotage and Jai Wolf are so what are you filling your day with leading up to this?

After studying the lineup, here are my recommendations (and where you will be able to find me all weekend).

On Saturday, in order by set times:

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – San Lorenzo Park – Worthy

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM – San Lorenzo Park – Christian Martin 

If you’ve ever heard of the Smile High Club, then you have got to check out their takeover upstairs at the Catalyst! It will be a mix of House, Soul, Funk, Bass Music, and who knows, you might even get a mix of some Hip-Hop if you’re lucky!

7:15 PM – 8:30 PM – Catalyst (Upstairs) – Jarrad Cleofé B2B Stripess

8:15 PM – 9:00 PM – Catalyst (Upstairs) – Olswel 

9:00 PM – 9:30 PM – Catalyst (Upstairs) – Tokay 

9:30 PM – 10:00 PM – Catalyst (Upstairs) – Thedemiurg3

At 10:00, you are going to have to make a run for it, if you want to catch the following artists who are set to perform within the same hour. Since Surf City Billiards and the Catalyst are about a block from each other, start there. And then make your way to the Civic Auditorium. 

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Surf City Billiards – Smasheltooth

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Catalyst (Atrium) – Sumthin Sumthin

10:00 PM – 11: 00 PM – Civic Auditorium – Louis Futon

Make sure to get a good night’s rest because Sunday is the day we do our HOUSEWORK and that means we will be dancing all day and night! 

On Sunday, in order by set times:

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM – San Lorenzo Park – RYBO

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – San Lorenzo Park – Lubelski

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM – San Lorenzo Park – Porky

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM – San Lorenzo Park – Mikey Lion

Did someone say, “Desert Hearts” because it sounds like we are going to be getting really HOUSEY in the park and under the sun for this 5-hour block! But wait… there’s more.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – Surf City Billiards – Oszo

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM – Surf City Billiards – Anthony Zmoda

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Surf City Billiards – Nico Crespo

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM – Surf City Billiards – Ryan Lincoln

10: 00 PM – 11:00 PM – Surf City Billiards – Ugly Girls in Miami B2B DJ Yosemite

11:00 PM – 12:30 PM – Surf City Billiards – Miss Dre

Santa Cruz’s own, Spicy Boys Club is taking over the last night at the Billiards and they are sure to bring you every variation of House Music you can think of. Each DJ brings their own flavor, but you can be sure that each flavor is extra spicy. Come close out your night with these metaphoric peppers and find out why hot sauce goes so well with House Music.

Every year, Santa Cruz Music Festival brings together tons of local, independent talent. Take this time to discover a few new artists, producers, or DJs and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your music library develops.

Let’s make sure we all have a great time! Here are some last minute tips to ensure a smooth weekend.

  • Ticketing booths open at 11:00 AM on Elm Street and 12:00 PM at San Lorenzo Park each day.
  • Arrive early because parking will be limited. Bring coins/cash because meters, parking garages, and lots have fees. Even better, take an Uber or Lyft, or public transportation.
  • DON’T FORGET YOUR TICKETS AND ID.
  • Wear walking shoes – it’s about a 10-15 minute walk from San Lorenzo Park to Pacific Ave. where most of the other venues are located and it’s another 10-minute walk from Pacific Ave. to the Civic Auditorium.
  • Lead by example. Pick up after yourself. Watch out for one another.

Make sure to follow @santacruzmusicfestival on Instagram to stay up to date on festival news. See you on the dance floor!

If you still don’t have a ticket, use code SPICYBOYSCLUB for a discount!

Santa Cruz Music Festival 2018

Bas’ Milky Way Tour Sells Out Oakland

I’m sure millions know of Dreamville, but can you name another artist on the record label besides J. Cole? KSJS fans can. As a matter of fact, half of the label is on tour on tour right now: Bas, EarthGang, and J.I.D.

You knew that though 😉Bas is on his second leg of the tour, having hit Oakland and Santa Cruz this week. J.I.D. sold out the Catalyst this Sunday (but you can sign up for a waitlist here) and EarthGang comes to the Bay in April.  

New Parish was host to Bas’ first Bay Area stop and best believe, it sold out well in advance! I have been to New Parish at least 100 times in my lifetime (no exaggeration) and I have never seen the line to get in wrap around 18th Street and go as long as Jefferson.

Openers included Correy C, Innanet James, and Berkeley’s own, Rexx Life Raj. Bas opened with his single and one of my personal favorites, Pinball II which features Correy C, while he performed most, if not all, of his latest project, Milky Way – hence the name of the tour. Fans were happy to hear older stuff too, like Housewives, another personal fav.

You can stream Milkey Way on Spotify here.

As you can see, the album features J. Cole, Ari Lennox, A$AP Ferg, Lion Babe, Correy C, Moe Moks, and mOma+Guy. And less noticeable, but equally important, production is done by Ron Gilmore, Jay Kurzweil, Cedric Brown, Ogee Handz, J. Cole, Sango, and Childish Major, while mixing and mastering was handled by TDE’s MixedByAli. Huge names. Huge project. Huge impact.

Sharing his thoughts on the album, Bas says:

This album is about finding ground. About not poisoning your own well. About finding and tethering yourself to the love that truly fulfills you. Love of self. Love of others. Lovers. Family. Friends. Fans. You’ve all given me all the affirmation I’ll ever need. That is the Milky Way. The only way to go.

Article and photo by Deanna Boutte @c4lif0rni4gr0wn 

Less Rap, Let’s Rave – The Santa Cruz Music Festival 2018

Every post-festival Monday always has me in my feelings about the worthiness of #FestivalLife, but here it is, Wednesday, convinced I was delusional because, YES, I am still very much all about it. That being said, the 2018 Santa Cruz Music Festival was a huge success, and having been to the festival last year, I can confidently say, each year is getting better and better.

Despite the light rain, the #SCMF brought together a versatile group of people. Everything from seasoned yogis to hipster millennials, to families, street faire enthusiasts, students, rave babies, foodies, hip-hoppers, and indie rockers. Downtown Santa Cruz was quite literally host to every type of festival-goer. It’s easy to bring together all the same kind of people, so by way of festival code, a huge virtual round of applause goes out to the organizers behind the #SantaCruzMusicFestival for entertaining such a diverse crowd.

If you only went for the Hip-Hop, you’re probably disappointed. Big name headliners like Ghostface Killah, Scarab (of Living Legends), and Smoke DZA took up less than two hours of the two-day show. And while practically every Electronic artist incorporated some Hip-Hop into their sets, most of the “real” Hip-Hop fans wanted less rave stuff and more rap stuff.

Author’s Note: the sarcastic use of “real” when referring to Hip-Hop simply refers the older Gen Y crowd who doesn’t support the evolution of Hip-Hop; and who seem to think the music created during their prime is ultimately the best thing to have ever happened. Also, they hate rappers with the prefixes “Lil” or “Yung” and preach about “hype”.

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Scarub of Living Legends

For many, the true gems are hidden in the earliest sets at the smaller venues. The lesser-known acts and up-and-coming artists are the ones really driving the crowd.  Speaking of, I had the pleasure of meeting with The Rellies, a Hip-Hop duo from Santa Cruz and Maui who performed inside Streetlight Records on Sunday. They brought out Dave Steezy (of HBK) and went level-10 hyphy on us.

I’ve picked out some of my favorite tracks from The Rellies for you to get on:

If you like them, give ’em a follow!

If you listened to A Vibe Called West last week, you’d know that Pure Powers’ killed his set on Saturday (yes—we predicted it). Last year’s headlining acts were all squeezed into the big, but small Catalyst so the festival’s transition to the Civic Auditorium was much needed. It allowed us all to enjoy the show without being too close to the people dancing beside us, while also leaving plenty of space for people with a larger personal bubble in the back.

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Pure Powers

There’s a video out now for my current favorite Pure Powers song,  which is phenomenal live BTW, check it out:

Other Santa Cruz Music Festival Highlights include:

  • Bigger festivals charge $12-16 bucks a beer, but the venues participating in this year’s #SCMF sold regularly priced (and often, locally brewed) beer which made my pockets (and taste buds) smile.
  • I lost my phone in the VIP area (because I saw pizza and was immediately distracted) and thanks to the wonderful ladies at the CloutKing table, I got it back along with a dope CloutKing t-shirt. You should get yourself one too!
  • Icing on the cake for me: adding more really cool people to my network of  #FestivalFamily ❤ Thank you!

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The Grand Finale – Mr. Carmack