Music festivals book the hottest acts of the moment, often relying on record and ticket sales, streaming data, and release schedules. It all comes down to who will draw the biggest crowds, that’s why many share the same names. So what the hell is our new partner Music Tastes Good thinking?
The first-time festival, to be held September 23-25 in Long Beach, CA threw people for a loop when it revealed its extremely eclectic lineup. British ska-punk legends The Specials, rap pioneers De La Soul, soulful R&B crooner Gallant, indie-folk stalwart Iron and Wine, left-field hip-hop act Deltron 3030 (with an orchestra!), international surf rock outfit Cambodian Space Project, and many more wide-ranging artists have a home on the bill. In addition to the sweet, delicious sounds will be an equally tasty culinary component featuring restaurants from throughout the city, craft beers, and more.
The lineup may seem random but it was all by design, says Jon Halperin, a former booker for Pomona’s Glass House who carefully curated the lineup with partner and Long Beach musician Joshua Fischel.
“The underlying theme is soul. All of the bands we curated have soul,” Halperin says. “There is zero chance that people will walk by artists like Los Master Plus (from Guadalajara) or Skinny Lister (from London) or Warpaint (from Los Angeles) and just keep walking. These artists we’ve booked are all so engaging.”
The handpicked lineup—based on Halperin and Fischel’s own tastes, not industry trends—is what separates Music Tastes Good from other festivals in the region, and why it’s already been dubbed “This Fall’s Best SoCal Music Festival” by the LA Weekly.
“When I had to describe the fest to people, I would say, ‘It’s like Coachella without any DJs, or FYF with only a distortion pedal,’” Halperin says. “That being said, I believe we touched upon quite a few artists that would have never made it onto those fests in a million years. Which is a good thing. We wanted to innovate, not duplicate. Those fests don’t need a cookie cutter duplicate in Long Beach.”
What Long Beach needs is exactly what Music Tastes Good will deliver come September.
“Not since All Tomorrow’s Parties has a fest like this taken place in Long Beach,” Halperin says. “Long Beach gets a raw deal in live music. [It’s] too close to LA, hence bands not able to play the city, and not a lot of all-ages options. That being said, there are no less than six record stores within a few miles from each other. There is a burgeoning music scene here that is overlooked and overshadowed.”
What also distinguishes Music Tastes Good from others is its format. Unlike the exhausting, marathon experience of other festivals, Music Tastes Good takes a laidback approach with a Friday night block party on September 23, followed by a stacked day of music on Saturday, Sept. 24, and a brunch wrap-up party on Sunday, Sept. 25. You won’t even need to use a sick day on Monday!
To ensure the festival goes off without a hitch, Halperin partnered with Ticketfly. In fact, he locked us down before he even had a single band booked.
“I was very familiar with Ticketfly, having booked The Glass House for eight and a half years. I championed changing from our prior ticketing company to Ticketfly. I was the one adding the shows to the website and setting up ticket links, so Ticketfly was a blessing for me,” Halperin says. “There is no one else doing what Ticketfly does as far as marketing. When it came to this fest, we needed the help on the marketing side. We needed something easy. Ticketfly was the obvious choice.”
We’re honored to work with such a unique festival and, like many others, can’t wait for September. But if for some reason you’re still not sold on the experience, maybe this will seal the deal for you: tickets are ridiculously cheap.
Tickets for Friday—which features Rx Bandits, Living Colour, Son Little and more—are only $25. Tickets for Saturday—which features more than three dozen acts—are $75. Sunday tickets—with Sylvan Esso, De La Soul, Gallant and more—are $35. Weekend passes are $120 with three-day VIP passes $240, which includes a Saturday farm-to-table dinner.
For tickets and more information, visit mtglb.co.