In the hills between the county lines and along the back roads of Orange County, was the raddest little festival that you ever did see. During the weekend of June 26th, Summer Roots Craft Beer and Music Festival opened its gates to long-awaiting show goers from all over. Fans embraced the heat and welcomed the musical acts with smiles as bands took the festival stage for the first time in more than a year.
Hosted by OC Brew Ha Ha, the festival promised patrons they could participate in the drink tasting of beverages provided by many local breweries and cider houses, and that’s just what happened. Tucked away in trees, people lined up to get a taste of their old favorites and check out some of the new summer editions that flavor masters had to offer. While the sun hung high in the sky, the musicians took the stage and the tasters got to groovin.’
Online battle of the bands winners SGV – or San Gabriel Vibes as they are formally known – kicked the day off, getting everyone back into the swing of things. As the bands switched out, the crowd exploded in conversation. Hugs and hellos that hadn’t been exchanged among festival followers in almost a year were almost as predominate as the music that trailed from the background.
Local band Roots of Mine took the stage next, bringing a good mix of reggae and hip hop. Front-man John Landry’s lyrical breakdowns always get the crowd excited!
Next on the stage was up-and-coming band Bikini Trill with a mondo mash up of everything that makes you think of the best psychedelic adventures that could possibly exist. The group itself has a style and musical taste all their own and vocalist Lauren “LJ” Johnson’s stage presence made it super clear they’re back, and they’re ready for more.
Coming in hot with sounds from the islands that are impossible not to jam to was the ever talented Eli-Mac! Having been on “American Idol” and dealing with all that competitive voting, performing for adoring fans was a walk in the park (Oak Canyon Park to be exact). Fans and family took center stage at the rail to support her in her musical conquest.
As the day carried on and the sun started to lower itself behind the hills, Arise Roots and Pacific Dub got extra funky with it. Both bands were sporting the most bodacious, surf-style floral tees, and they reminded everyone to enjoy the celebration we call life and feel the music. With the sun finally hidden behind the stage, the crowd began to grow as we started to realize the end was drawing near on a wonderful day introducing us back into festival season.
Santa Cruz natives the Expendables crushed it with their epic blend of reggae and rock, yet still holding true to their roots and closing their time out with and old favorite, “Bowl for Two.” As always, they made sure to get the crowd to sing along and truly feel like they’re part of the music.
What could be considered the perfect cherry on top of the amazing treat that was the Summer Roots Festival was Fortunate Youth, finishing things off. They brought along other members of the music community and bands who played throughout the day on stage to share the time they had with the fans. Appreciative of what the band brought to the table, the show goers went absolutely bananas with love for the band they’ve waited so long to see.
The bands took their final encores and waved their last goodbyes, and patrons started to do the same, leaving the venue back to its quaint little park in the middle of the hills.
The Summer Roots Craft Beer and Music Festival was truly a great sign of festival times ahead. Let’s look forward to Punk in the Park in November, another Brew Ha Ha event!