Real Street Festival's California Love Thunderdome and South Stage (photo by Nick Dybel).
Mission Viejo High School

Real Street Festival: The climax of Southern California’s summer fun

Real 92.3 and Big Boy’s Neighborhood took over the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Aug. 10-11 for the inaugural Real Street Festival, a hip-hop celebration that has instantly become a fan favorite for Southern California concert-goers.

Utilizing every inch of the Honda Center’s sprawling property, Real Street featured a car show, live interviews with the Real 92.3 crew, and two adjacent stages for live music, ensuring no attendee would be left without something to enjoy.

Mural walls, pop-up shops and art vendors littered the festival grounds, creatives networking with their peers and growing their audiences.

Real Street can be summarized as a weekend of firsts and lasts.

As tickets were sold for relatively cheap, many teenage guests purchased their first festival tickets and were blown away by the experience.

Around 250 of these teenagers were recent graduates of Mission Viejo High School, who kicked off their summer with an unconventional Grad Night, waiting in the school gym for three hours for buses that never arrived and going home empty-handed.

This deprived group of teens were given tickets to Real Street as consolation, and experienced mosh pits for Blueface, Rae Sremmurd and more as their final memories of high school.

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Sophie Mendelson, freshman at Purdue University, took the theme of “lasts” to new heights, spending her last day in California at Real Street before leaving for college.

“Going to the festival encompassed home,” Mendelson said. “Listening to rap music that reminds me of my friends and dancing like nobody was watching was the absolute best send-off.”

As summer closes for Menelson and many others, Megan Thee Stallion, unofficial queen of summer 2019, came to Real Street to oversee its finale.

The creator of “Hot Girl Summer,” a trend encouraging young women to embrace themselves with confidence, performed on Saturday, drawing in one of the largest crowds of the weekend.

She was supported throughout the weekend by fellow female rap stars Saweetie, Doja Cat, DaniLeigh and Cardi B — a collection of performances fit to cement Hot Girl Summer in social media history.

A$AP Rocky served as Sunday night’s headliner, fans rushing to the barriers of the South Stage at midnight sharp, waiting for over ten hours to see his first performance after spending a month in Swedish prison.

As a curtain went down over the stage, the crowd grew energetic, some of the aforementioned teens needing to be rescued from the brewing chaos.

As Rocky began to chant “GANG! GANG!” from behind the curtain, press members gritted their teeth, worrying that photographing the weekend’s biggest star would be an impossible task.

Only minutes later, the curtain dropped, and Rocky emerged from a mob of masked hype men to perform “Buck Shots” while the photographers’ clicks were drowned by the roaring crowd behind them.

“I can’t tell you how good it feels to be here right now,” said a beaming A$AP Rocky as he acknowledged the significance of his performance.

Absolutely ecstatic to be back home, he celebrated his freedom by bringing Tyler, the Creator, A$AP Ferg and YG on stage with him.

The crowd matched his intensity perfectly, especially after a brief intermission to play an instructional video on forming a mosh pit.

Attendees left Real Street thoroughly satisfied after seeing a number of standout performances, enjoying a comfortable viewing experience, and experiencing showcases of Southern California culture.

Real 92.3 has set the bar for other radio festivals to reach, an impressive accomplishment for Real Street’s debut.

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