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We have basically skipped Spring and have jumped right into an early Summer thanks to the 2nd annual Back to the Beach Festival. Over the weekend about 30,000 ska music lovers and punk rockers took over the beautiful sands of Huntington State Beach for the 2-day festival for a good time. Back To The Beach 2019 had it all. The bands that brought the jams, the food vendors that covered a wide variety of options for everyone and sound that stretched on for miles.

The lineup included headliner Blink-182, The Used, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish, The AquabatsThe Story So Far and more. Plus some special appearances from Sublime With Rome’s Rome Ramirez, 311’s Nick Hexum and Save Ferris’ Monique Powell. One of the highlights of the weekend was Blink-182 playing their entire Enema of the State album in lieu to its 20th year anniversary.

I had a chance to speak with a SoCal local and guitarist, Dean Santos where he told me about his AMAZING weekend at BTTB 2019:

“My experience at Back to the Beach 2019 was magical! I know that sounds cheesy, but I got to see my favorite band, Blink-182, play Enema of the State! An album that was released when I was in elementary school and one of the first albums I bought and learned to play guitar to. This album means so much to me and it was such a surprise.  My friends and I attended BTTB 2019 to celebrate my birthday. Hitting this kind of nostalgia with one of my favorite bands of all time was not expected. Hearing Blink-182 play Enema of the State was perfect timing, it was like I time traveled to when I was figuring out who I was and wanted to be. The lineup in general set the tone. This continued on to the following day. I was ecstatic hearing Anthony Green from Saosin and Circa Survive, Story of the Year and The Used! This was my emo phase that jump started my seriousness in playing with my own bands. Those sounds for me were The Story So Far and The Wonder Years. It was totally a glimpse into my own musical journey being played back to me on stage. The fact that the event was on the beach was just icing on the cake. The beach is where I used to drive out to and write songs while people watching and listening to the waves crash. Back to the Beach put me in a nirvana where I could jam out with my close friends and bandmates to music that means so much to us. I was absolutely elated throughout the whole weekend. The feeling I’m left with is a total recharge and I’m ready to go just like I did when I was younger going through my younger years and problems. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!”  

There was literally something for everyone of all ages. With beach games to play, a Lil’ Punk Zone for the kiddos 10 & under and sponsor booths with a hangout zone. Not to mention a ton of food options to take advantage of. With the growing number of eating trends, diets and ‘restrictions’ you are normally s*** outta luck when it comes to coming to an event like this, but this was no issue at all. The assortment of options brought all the carnivores, sugar craving, vegetarian and vegan eaters together in one happy, hangry-free place.

The only negative part I personally would have to say about the entire event was the sand. While you would think it is the perfect spot for a SoCal music experience, it really was a total pain in the ass. It’s hard enough to walk in the sand for a distance. Add in the weaving through crowds, carrying drinks or food or just trying to relax in general. If you’re not struggling in those areas, you are probably sitting on your beach towel getting sand kicked all over you by anyone walking by. And then there was the weather... Some might have thought the weather wasn’t ideal but again, personal thought is that it was perfect. We weren’t blazing in the sun all day. It was the right amount of cloud coverage and just when the moment was right there it was bringing the blue skies with it.

Overall, I had a total blast and was very happy for the opportunity to come out to the event. BTTB is a fantastic festival to highlight the very much alive third wave ska and punk rock genres. Thank you to Travis Barker and John Feldmann for kicking off an early summer vibe and creating this music love child Back to the Beach. We look forward to 2020.  

From behind the lens - Alyssa Mize


Alyssa Mize

Photojournalist - Orange County

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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