By DONNA BALANCIA
Ziggy Marley and Willie Nelson made the first BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach a family affair that locals will remember for a long time to come.
The 3-day all-ages fest catered to a range of musical tastes as well, blending the South Bay’s love of Reggae and Americana with surf-themed rock. The previous nights’ headliners were Brian Wilson on Saturday and Bob Weir on Friday.
Nelson, who at 86, recently said his life has been extended because of his use of cannabis, wrapped up the three-day extravaganza with songs including “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “I Saw The Light.”
The BeachLife Festival was a welcome respite from the run-of-the-mill festivals that have taken over the business. With the staff’s attention to detail and the remarkable makeover of the Redondo North Harbor parking lot, many were left hoping the structures would actually remain after the festival ended Sunday night. BeachLife Festival signed a longterm lease with the City of Redondo Beach and is expected to present the festival for at least six years, sources said.
Food, beer and good times were aplenty and there were few glitches during the weekend, which drew roughly 8,700 attendees on Saturday, according to early reports.
Festival-goers, most of whom came from the South Bay and LA environs, seemed delighted to have a festival of their very own. LA-area festivals that cater to those 35 years old and up are in demand.
Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena that took place in June for the last two years, served that demographic, but has been postponed with no replacement date announced yet, according to reports.
As for the performances at the BeachLife Festival, there were plenty worth noting, including Marley who brought his family on stage during his set. He performed a wide-ranging variety of songs that included some of his father Bob’s beloved tunes like “One Love,” “Coming In From The Cold” and “Them Belly Full.”
Grace Potter admitted the influence Nelson has had on her work and it’s amazing that her songs never scored big on the country charts. Perhaps her sexy rock act is too risque for the country genre, but she entertained the crowds on the main stage with “Loneliest Soul,” and “Paris” by her former band, the Nocturnals.
Meanwhile, the grand daddy of rock, Nelson was the topper fo the three-day event when he closed out the fest with a performance that featured many of his most well-known songs.
Blues Traveler’s John Popper came out to join Nelson for the finale with Mickey Raphael.
Early in the day, Colin Hay, known for the Australian band Men At Work brought out some of his best with “Who Can It Be Now” and “Overkill.
Big Head Todd and The Monsters showed off the stuff that made them the big hit of the 1990s when they hit the Lowtide Stage and played an impressive setlist including “Bittersweet.”