Cut Copy, Cosmic Kids, Steve Aoki, Bag Raiders, Zoot Woman, Black Lips -- and Snoop Dogg? What sounds like an iPod playlist of a raver/hipster/hip-hop head schizophrenic, served as the diverse line-up for the second annual Pacific Festival. Held for the first time at the idyllic Oak Canyon Ranch at Lake Irvine in Orange County, California, the new sprawling venue allowed for food trucks, booze stations, a live art installation, a vendor row and a pond complete with scenic bridge, all lakeside with plenty of room to spare.
Despite the location carrying the suburbia-hell name of Irvine, Oak Canyon Ranch was tucked far enough away from civilization to go loud all night long without concerns of riling up any neighbors -- a good thing when house, electro, indie and hip-hop music is blaring on five different public stages.
Red Bull MXT Stage
What could almost pass as an armored vehicle is what doubled as the DJ stand for the Red Bull MXT stage. Complete with thrumming speakers, amplifiers, CDJs, mixer, monitors and lighting system, all built-in, the Red Bull mobile was the ultimate party bus.
Posted up at the end of the food truck village, 3 Kilos, Adam Salter, Dan Sena, Bones and Brazzabelle were some of the acts spinning in the blacked-out truck.
Closest to the lake, the Lakeside Stage (duh) looked like a teepee built out of enormous Jenga blocks. Zeds Dead, The Twelves, Classixx, Fred Falke and Cosmic Kids were some of the artists to cut it up under the triangular cove. And in case you were wondering, no, swimming was not allowed in the lake. Crowd swimming on the other hand…
Voted the most hug-worthy stage -- unofficially, by us -- the Shagadelica is what would happen if the flying dog from “Neverending Story” made sweet love to a double-decker bus and their hybrid lovechild fell into a vat of glowing radioactive juice.
Jason Bentley, the C90s, Them Jeans, Bird Peterson, Bang Gang Deejays (best name, ever) and others spun their sets from atop the second story of the glowing stage, which changed colors every few seconds. Trippy.
Unlike the aforementioned three stages, the Pacific Stage held no unique theme. No whales, no wave machines, no Samoans or Tahitians. But what it lacked in flair, the Pacific Stage more than made up for with its banging live acts, such as Toro Y Moi, Bag Raiders, Zoot Woman and Black Lips, whose vocals and beats kept the crowd dancing all day and night.
As the name implies, the Main Stage hosted some of the “main” acts of the festival (duh x2). Ghostland Observatory, Steve Aoki, Cut Copy and Snoop Dogg were among the artists to grace the Main Stage.
For Snoop’s performance, the penultimate act of the night, he belted out lines from “Nuthin’ But a G Thang,” “What’s My Name” and other classics, as well as newer songs such as “I Wanna Rock.” Living up the Pacific in the Pacific Festival, a few of his West Coast homeboys made a surprise cameo and jumped on the mic: Warren G and Kurupt (not to mention the trio of obligatory female dancers). The final headliner, Cut Copy closed out the venue singing some of their most popular hits, including "Hearts on Fire," "Lights & Music" and "Need You Now."
Still in its relative infancy, Pacific Festival has quickly grown into a must-attend music festival in Southern California. With a ton of acts running the musical gamut, keep an eye out for next year’s festivities.
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