FESTIVAL: Back to the Beach Brings Big Ska/Punk Bands Together

2-day ska festival in Southern California features just about every U.S. legacy ska/punk band

By now you’ve already heard about the Back to the Beach festival hosted by John Feldmann of Goldfinger and Travis Barker of The Aquabats Blink 182 The Transplants Meet the Barkers. It features all of the legacy ska/punk bands on your bingo card. It has a few bands I’ve never seen and quite a few bands I would gladly see again. Not bad.

It’s also so great to see so many established acts lifting up new and upcoming acts– oh wait it’s just the established acts. I think this is a missed opportunity. Unless we’re bringing up new acts, then we’re headed to the point of no return: the scene becomes so steeped in nostalgia that we don’t grow new fans or bands and, as a result, don’t sustain the scene. I really hope the “and more” at the bottom of the flyer refers to a slew of noname acts ready for their debut.

Forgive me for being a naysayer. This festival is going to be a great time. I might even go if it wasn’t on the wrong coast. But it raises concerns for me. Nostalgia is only compelling to a point. If you’re going to go to shell out for the flight, hotel, and tickets, I just ask that you spend another $10 or $15 here and there on some local shows and new bands. You’ll be glad you did.

Tickets start at $49.50 and VIP packages go as high as $7500 for some ungodly reason. (cough #fyrefestival cough)

On a less curmugeony note, now is as good as any time to screen the 1987 classic “Back to the Beach” starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello (RIP).

P.S. Given the sheer number of bands on the bill, you have to wonder what certain other bands did to not get invited. Let’s hope they were asked but were unavailable.