Pacific Festival: The Dunes - Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort - August 16, 2014
For a couple years now, Pacific Festival has worked on mastering the art of the large scale OC beach party. On a sweltering Saturday afternoon in Newport Beach, blonde beauties sip ice-cold beers out of pink flamingo cup holders, designed to look like miniature floaties. Beach balls fly through the air as Cherry Glazerr perform on the main stage and toes dig into the sand of this years Pacific Festival: The Dunes.
Pineapple t-shirts, bikinis, and barely-there shorts hug swinging hips. Sweat drips down the backs of fat boys, who have collectively decided to forgo their tank tops. After all, their fanny packs, serving as the vessel for menthol cigarettes, is creating quite the sweat pocket already. In the near distance, kids in life jackets paddle board effortlessly and cannonball from a large floating whale into the Eco preserved water.
The festival, which began at Oak Canyon Ranch in Irvine in 2009, aims to celebrate OC's bacchanalian beach culture by providing people with boutique amenities while creating awareness of a non-profit organization. However, it seemed like they were downplaying the latter a little too much. For the second year in a row, Pacific Festival donated $1 for every ticket sold to the Surfrider Foundation, aimed to protect our coastline. Unfortunately, there wasn't any noticeable postage of this organization at the event! Red Bull, a sponsor of Pacific Fest, had the biggest presence selling the only advertised non-alcoholic beverage as well as providing a few umbrellas and circular cushions for those quick enough to claim them.
Taylor Morgan Painted Palms
Goddollars & Paradise DJ on the A Club Called Rhonda stage serves as background music for a drink and food ticket line, which is easily a 45-minute wait. At a certain point, chatter in line switches from, "I've seen festivals that have been run a little more smoothly," to "I went to this thing two years ago and it was much better." A man wearing a Speedo kicks his feet up into a faded red hammock while purple haired boys sit in the back of truck beds, scrolling through smart phones just behind the festival's gate. Painted Palms walk onto the main stage and suddenly there begins to feel like there is purpose in attending this poorly staffed and somewhat disorganized event.
Eighteen-and-older fans place conversations of Hollywood nightlife and party reputation on hold to scurry towards the San Francisco band who released their new psych-pop album Forever this past January. With seagulls flying overhead and palm trees beginning to shake in the distance they sang a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Little Darling." The crowd jumped up and down eager for more and Painted Palms moved on to perform "All Of Us." A mix of Beach Boys and Animal Collective is what the band successfully achieves with distressed break beats and bouncy tunes.