Street fair music lineups again stacked with talent and punch
by Bart Mendoza
Jun 21, 2013 | 3426 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ocean Beach provides the perfect backdrop for local, state and national musicians during the OB Street Fair and Chili-Cook-Off, which this year will feature six stages and 38 performers.                                                                                                                      Photo by Jim Grant I The Beacon
Ocean Beach provides the perfect backdrop for local, state and national musicians during the OB Street Fair and Chili-Cook-Off, which this year will feature six stages and 38 performers. Photo by Jim Grant I The Beacon
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A variety of musical acts willl take to the oceanfront main stage and five other stages during the street fair.                                                         Photo by Jim Grant I The Beacon
A variety of musical acts willl take to the oceanfront main stage and five other stages during the street fair. Photo by Jim Grant I The Beacon
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Along with the seaside location and tasty chili, the biggest attraction to the annual street fair is likely the huge selection of music to be found across its six stages. Throughout the day, visitors will find everything from world music to hip-hop and from Americana to tribute bands.

Booked by Ted Wigler, owner of Winston’s Beach Club and the 710 Beach Club, as well as Michael Head of Head Trap Recording Studios, the 2013 Ocean Beach Street Fair will feature music from 38 performers.

“The first thing we look for is a variety of bands,” said Head. “We really try to offer a diverse and entertaining lineup.”

He said the performers are mostly chosen by online submissions or press kits.

“We try to offer a very fair share of bands from Ocean Beach, but we have artists from all over San Diego and throughout California, as well as nationally.”

He said far more performers submit music for consideration than organizers have space for.

“Bands know this is a cool gig,” Head said. “Between the big crowds and the location, it’s hard to beat.”

The stages at the street fair follow general themes, based on their location.

Of the five outdoor stages, The Artist’s Alley Stage features Americana, blues and jazz with a bill topped by Cajun and Zydeco favorites, Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters at 6 p.m. The Wonderland Stage is groove, acoustic and hip-hop oriented, with featured sets from hip-hop locals Destructo Bunny at

3:30 p.m. and soul jazz hybrid The Krass Brothers at 5 p.m. The Sparkling Ice Stage (formerly the Bacon Sun stage) features Americana and Alternative rock with Head’s own band, The Country Rockin’ Rebels at 1:30 p.m. and retro rocker Chris Leyva at 4:30 p.m. among the highlights. Meanwhile, the 92107 OB Stage has a focus on Ocean Beach artists, including such favorites as acoustic trio Black Bottom Pie at 10 a.m. and the New Orleans-inspired blues rock of the Lady Luck Review at 1:30 p.m. Finally, the main stage is possibly the most diverse of the venues, set to include music from Grateful Dead tribute group The Electric Waste Band at 5:15 p.m. and world music favorites Todo Mundo at 6:45 p.m.

The indoor stage of the OB Playhouse will be the site of the street fair’s sixth stage, featuring more experimental and exotic sounds, like Unidentified Fusion Orangement at noon.

Head said staging outdoor events offers unique challenges, from moving bands in and out through crowds to the variables of weather.

“However, they are the best type of events because so many different people love them,” he said. “You can move around and take in a variety of acts in a single day.”

Sitarist Greg Vaughn of Gypsy rock and bellydance group Danyavaad & the Shimmy Sisters (OB Playhouse at 3 p.m.), agrees.

“We love playing shows where we can be experienced by lots of people who have never seen or heard us before,” he said. “Events like the street fair expose us to lots of new people. It’s fun to watch people react to our show and become new fans.”

Local rock and reggae group Jet West, which performs on the OB Music Stage at 6 p.m., has played the street fair in the past.

“We love Ocean Beach and we look forward to this gig every year. The culture and vibe OB brings really helps you feel right at home when on stage,” said Jet West guitarist Chris Warner.

This will be Head’s third straight year booking music for the street fair, but he’s been a longtime volunteer. “It’s funny, I worked for the Artists’ Alley Stage right out of high school,” said Head. “It’s been full circle.” After all this time, he said his favorite part of the event remains the same.

“It’s seeing all of the happy faces and people all enjoying the event. It really is why we put this thing on every year,” he said.
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