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Pacific Festival Comes Back to OC

Festival goers crowd the main stage as the event's headliner, Poolside, begins playing.
Photographer unknown

Orange County’s Pacific Festival was a big success this summer. A nearly sold out crowd ventured to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort on Aug. 16 to enjoy live indie dance music while swimming in the ocean, dancing in the sand and soaking up the beach city’s almost-too-perfect weather.

   The Festival’s headliners were indietronica and synthpop bands like Poolside, Holy Ghost!, Moon Boots and Yolanda Be Cool. Each performing in a beautiful seaside venue from mid-afternoon to sunset where festival goers can swim, paddle board, lay on the sand, and watch the sun go down. All the while enjoying live upbeat sounds resonating from the main stage.

   “You can’t beat being in the water. That was sick. Hella people were swimming, everyone was hanging out in the sand, felt like we were at the beach but there was also live music…it was sweet,” said 23-year-old Kyle Jackson who was happy to attend the festival after hearing about it from a friend.

   DJ performances by Cassette, a female electro-house sensation hailing from Sydney Australia, and Moon Boots’s disco-tinged beats on the soundstage, provided an upbeat soundtrack for the crowd’s day at the beach, which mostly consisted “of selfies being taken everywhere,” said Jackson, who also noted it was the youngest crowd he had ever seen at a festival so far.

   Since the festival got its start in 2010, most of the people who attend are usually locals. Though a fair share of this year’s attendees heard about the event online (via email subscription, Facebook posts or Tweets), there was additionally a lot of local community support to get the word out, according to the festival’s official representatives.

   “It truly is a festival that is driven by the community,” said festival representatives.  

   Much like the city that hosts the event, the Pacific Festival is all about embracing a laid back, positive coastal attitude. But more importantly, it’s about giving back to the ocean that neighbors it. Each year it’s put on, the festival pairs with Surfrider Foundation to donate a portion of their ticket sales toward funding ocean related causes and improving the overall coastal environment.

   This year its vendors included local favorites like Bear Flag Fish Company, The Lime Truck, and Avila’s El Ranchito (in the VIP area). But some festival goers were displeased by the abnormally long lines that led to the vendors. Some said additional staff or volunteers would probably help for things to run more smoothly and others believed it was just a result of disorganization.

   Jackson, who was attending Pacific Festival for the first time said that even though there were some problems, most people were still enjoying themselves.
“Things weren’t running smoothly but it was cool, no one seemed to care, that was the funny thing,” said Jackson.

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