Walking into the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival on Sept. 19 at Rainbow Lagoon Park, you immediately sense the intimate, fun feel of the event. The park is located in between a pond and the Long Beach aquarium, with a view of building and the ocean. The “easygoing” location contributed to the casual vibe of the festival, which was in its third year.
Aside from the four stages, the festival had a variety of food trucks and fun booths to explore. A crowd favorite was the “flower crown and braid” station, where a person could get their hair braided and a crown made from flowers of their choosing.
Throughout the day, the concertgoers as well as the style of the music changed significantly. Early on, the crowd was made up of families and children, and the music could be described as folk or Americana.
Later in the day however, more people in the 21-plus crowd began appearing, bringing dancing and more of a concert feel. The music also shifted more into indie rock.
Because of the inexpensive tickets, many people showed up just for the last two more “popular” bands on the main stage.
This festival is one of many in Los Angeles that is still small and has trouble making money. Another similar festival, Way Over Yonder, was canceled after little success in the last two years. Events like these show a different side to the festival business.
Unlike huge events such as Coachella, these festivals show the humble beginnings that most festivals must have on the road to major success.
He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister
As the band performing right before the headliner, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister had quite a good turnout. A band local to Los Angeles, their quirky nature was clear from the moment they walked onto the stage
Pulling from music genres of indie rock, pop and Americana, their first album was released in 2012. The two main members of the band are brother and sister, hence the name.
Most of their instruments were covered in sparkles, adding to the “modern hippie” vibe the band was aiming for.
With the drummer simultaneously tap dancing and drumming, and the guitar player dancing along with the audience, the band’s unique elements fit in perfectly with the mood of the festival.
Clearly a crowd favorite, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, gave a great set full of dancing and fun.
Deer Tick, the sole headliner of the festival, had a significantly different style than any of the previous acts. A band made up of five men from Providence, Rhode Island, their debut album came out in 2005.
Drawing the largest crowd of the day, Deer Tick gave a heartfelt 90-minute set. They mixed in bigger hits like “The Dream’s in the Ditch,” “Ashamed” and “These Old Shoes” with new songs yet to be released.
The band’s sound is distinctly rock, with some indie and Americana sounds added in. They encouraged some singing along from the crowd, bringing in a more serious and heartfelt tone to the festival.
Deer Tick helped to end the festival on a high note. The event was thoroughly enjoyable, and will hopefully continue to grow in size and popularity in the coming years. While one of many festivals in Los Angeles, its blend of different crowds, music genres, and lighthearted tone allow it to stand out.
Background Photo Credit: Emma Kolesnik/The Foothill Dragon Press