The BeachLife Festival is going country this weekend as cowboy hats and boots meet the sand at the inaugural BeachLife Ranch country and Americana festival happening Sept. 16-18 in Redondo Beach.
A Southern California punk music legend and a noted surfing musician who are behind the lineup of more than 30 country acts say a little bit of hillbilly spirit is a natural fit for the beach.
“I mean putting cowboy boots on the sand is exciting,” said pro surfer turned musician Donavon Frankenreiter, who along with Pennywise frontman Jim Lindberg, as well as Redondo Beach entrepreneurs Allen Sanford and Rob Lissner, put together the alt-country festival. “Everyone loves a little bit of country every once in a while here on the coast.”
“We just wanted to celebrate this whole different side of California,” Lindberg added. “We wanted to get into that Central California landscape and bring that down to Southern California a little bit. Even though this is Los Angeles, this is still the wild west.”
While the BeachLife Festival — which took place at Redondo Beach’s Seaside Lagoon in May and featured performances by acts like Smashing Pumpkins, 311, Sheryl Crow, The Aggrolites and Weezer — is more modern rock and reggae-focused, the Ranch alt-country version will include sets by acts like Brandi Carlile, Dierks Bentley, Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real, Greensky Bluegrass and Songs of Waylon Jennings, featuring Shooter Jennings and other musicians performing songs by his late father.
“I think we really managed to put together a good, eclectic lineup of people that are from the whole country and Americana world,” Lindberg said.
There are other non-country acts on the bill as well, including folk rock band The Lumineers, alternative rock band Wilco and day one headliners, soul-pop stars Daryl Hall & John Oates. The addition of Hall & Oates was a no-brainer for Lindberg.
“Hall & Oates is a band we would have at any BeachLife entity,” he said. “They cover so much ground and that was one where we wanted them to come down anytime.”
Roots of the Ranch
Well before before the third installment of the BeachLife Festival took place earlier this year, Lindberg, who was a music curator for the original event, and Sanford spoke about doing a follow up festival.
“Once we saw how successful it was and people were loving the festival, we decided it might be a good idea to branch out into something different and kind of tweak the formula a little bit,” he said.
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At first, they talked about hosting a reggae festival since it seemed like a natural fit for the beach. However, they remembered the success of a headlining performance by country music icon Willie Nelson during the first BeachLife in 2019 and decided that country was the way to go.
“Allen came up with the idea of country and I told him I love real roots country,” Lindberg said of Sanford’s vision. “I love Waylon Jennings and when Willie Nelson performed, it was huge to see so many people on the beach who really loved him. With that whole show happening in the beautiful California sunset, I could kind of see it and thought it was different and to give it a shot.”
Frankenreiter, who performed at that 2019 festival as well, had previously told Lindberg and Sanford that he wanted to be involved as more than just a performer.
“And they called me and said we want to do BeachLife Ranch and I thought it was an amazing idea,” Frankenreiter said.
“There’s a lot of Americana and country music in both mine and Jim’s music, especially the roots of it and we really love that type of music,” he added.
Setting the scene
The layout for BeachLife Ranch will be pretty much identical to the original BeachLife Festival, expect the music will take place on three stages instead of four. The Hither Stage will be set up in front of green turf for main acts like Hall & Oats Friday night, Dierks Bentley on Saturday and Brandi Carlile closing out the fest on Sunday.
The Yonder Stage will be located on the sand and situated alongside the ocean. On that stage, The Lumineers perform on Friday, Songs of Waylon Jennings takes over Saturday and Wilco closes it out on Sunday evening.
The Speakeasy Stage, which is where artists perform acoustic versions of their songs, will also be resurrected for the BeachLife Ranch Festival and acts like country trio Temecula Road and others will strip down their music in the more intimate performance space.
Fans are encouraged to bring their dance boots because there’s also going to be a hootenanny in a line dancing barn located near the main entrance, where instructors will teach guests how to get down like true country fans.
“I think when you walk by that area you’re going to be drawn in there seeing how much fun people are having cutting up a rug,” Lindberg said.
When: 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sept. 16; 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sept. 17; 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 18
Where: BeachLife Ranch, 137 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach
Tickets: $159-$179 for single-day general admission; $299-$379 for three-day general admission; $339 for single-day VIP; $699 three-day VIP; Outlaw and Admiral VIP passes are $1,250-$2,999. All passes are available at beachliferanch.com.