The First of Two Music Festivals This Year, Beachlife Starts off Strong in May
Evolving an event.
- Written byKat Monk
While sitting in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, Allen Sanford and Rob Lissner—cofounders of BeachLife Festival—enjoyed some late-night whiskey while dreaming up the Friday night lineup of this spring’s event. Suddenly The Black Keys music started playing in the background. “We literally looked at each other, and it was a no-brainer,” explains Allen. “I sent a text to the agent at 11 p.m., and there you go.”
BeachLife will return to Redondo Beach May 5–7 at King Harbor for another party in the sand with headliners The Black Keys, Gwen Stefani, The Black Crowes and John Fogerty performing the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival. BeachLife has established itself as two different festivals: BeachLife in May and BeachLife Ranch in September.
“Since the beach life is an active lifestyle, it is about making experiences better—meaning adding other activities and experiences,” shares Allen. So while BeachLife Ranch had line dancing and a mechanical bull for guests to enjoy, May’s concert will welcome guests to “the pseudo stage” to perform karaoke. “It’s about getting involved now,” he adds.
The Black Keys are a Grammy Award-winning duo whose hits include “Gold on the Ceiling,” “Little Black Submarines,” “Howlin’ for You,” “Wild Child” and “Lonely Boy.” Taking it even deeper into a Southern vibe in 2021, they released 11 covers of hill country blues songs on Delta Kream including “Going Down South” and “Crawling Kingsnake.”
Also performing on Friday, Modest Mouse and the Pixies will get the crowd moving.
On Saturday, two artists from the Greater Los Angeles Area take the stage: Sublime with Rome and the illustrious Gwen Stefani. “What can I say? She is ‘just a girl’ and ‘no doubt’ she belongs up there,” muses Allen. “It was important for us to have a female artist as a headliner, and Gwen Stefani broke the ceiling. She is the most well-known artist we have had so far, and the younger female generation is empowered by her.”
Gwen rose to fame as the lead singer of No Doubt, an American rock band from Anaheim. In 2021 she ended a three-year residency as a solo act at Zappos Theater in Las Vegas, where decent seats sold for approximately $500 each. An opportunity to catch her up close and personal at BeachLife is quite the deal.
Sunday is a day of recovery to chill and vibe to good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. Festival-goers have a rare opportunity to see The Black Crowes and John Fogerty.
At the inaugural BeachLife in 2019, Allen’s hope to have The Black Crowes play proved impossible because they had broken up (again). “Playing under the name As the Crow Flies, lead singer Chris Robinson performed,” he says. “Super-agent Rick Roskin was in the crowd. He walked backstage and said, ‘We are getting The Black Crowes back together.’”
Goal accomplished, and now one of Allen’s personal favorites is headlining on Sunday. The Black Crowes could easily be considered a jam band influenced by Southern, blues and rock.
John Fogerty will perform songs that Creedence Clearwater Revival performed at Woodstock, one of the most well-known music festivals of all time. A California band, CCR began as two brothers, with John as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist and primary songwriter. “It’s a celebration because John just recently got his catalog back after 40 years [of legal battles],” adds Allen. Get ready to hear some oldies but goodies.
BeachLife continues to channel the sounds of the South Bay with popular local bands such as Tomorrows Bad Seeds and the Kevin Sousa Band while introducing everyone to a recently reunited band from the ’80s, The 415s, featuring Chris Warshaw, Dave McMillan, Matt Muir and Marc Theodore, as well as local favorite Poppy Harlo featuring Cooper Jones on vocals.
BeachLife hosted the fundraiser Battle of the Bands for local youth bands under the age of 18, where XYZPDQ earned their spot on the lineup, benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Tegan and Sara, Noah Cyrus and Trampled by Turtles also represent BeachLife’s conscious move to be inclusive of the younger generation, so you can bring your kids (of any age) with you to the festival.
Who knows who could be in the crowd with you? Maybe Blake Shelton to see his wife perform, or Miley Cyrus to support her sister? Anything is possible.