You’ve just crossed over the Twilight Zone!
Festival Report by Mila Reynaud

Beach Goth is a two days festival that takes place at The Observatory in Orange County, celebrating predominantly new acts amongst established artists, with a pre-Halloween theme, and hosted by surf rockers The Growlers.

Featuring performances from the likes of Die Antwoord, Julian Casablancas and the Voidz, Warpaint, Mr Elevator, Mystic Braves, Wanda Jackson, The Mummies, The Adicts, The Subhumans, FIDLAR, No Parents, and the Eagles of the Death Metal, to name just a few, the event also welcomed it’s biggest crowd to date this past weekend.  I honestly did not see a bad act all weekend, it was a killer line-up, an odd combination of bands, and a mecca of madness!

At the time when music festivals are almost worthless to don’t say boring, Beach Goth can compete with godzilla-ish events like FYF.  Like Burgerama, Beach Goth is one of those rare festivals where local labels can showcase their talent to big crowds. BeachGoth4 was the most surreal, eclectic, trashy and fun festival I have attended on the West Coast. It was massive, a kind of trippy Goth carnival, a wacky beach party funhouse, with piñatas shaped like pills, eyeballs and butts flying in the sky. There were a lot of flying bodies too.

A celebration of debauchery, hidden within the asphalt district of Santa Ana car dealerships and medical office parks, with punk surf rap bands yelling in the background. A paradise of underground music, punkers, teenage high energy, and Wild Childs! The overall atmosphere was fun, non-aggressive, self-expressionist, non-judgmental, wasted, philosophically without rule. It really needs to be experienced.

Here are some of my favorite moments, from the BeachGoth to the Graveyard stages:

First I watched No Parents, yes no less, one of the LA’s most exciting up and coming bands with Together Pangea playing later on the same stage. Both marked the tones, wild and a memorable binges. I passed by the Meash Mosh stage to see the’s from Japan occupying the stage all afternoon with 4 sets of 15mn sliding their feminine garage trash sound under a hard sun. It was so amazing to catch them that I almost forgot to go back to the main stage to see The Adicts, who were delivering a spectacular show that included gimmicks and confetti. So I took some shots!

The Adicts were following by the Aquabats wearing their superhero “A” suits. McBat Commander was pouring water on people and symbolically lighted a torch. Inside, the English anarcho activist punk band Subhumans made it tight, and kept the punk flame blazing. The old songs still sounded great, such as ‘Mickey Mouse is dead” that was supported by a energized crowd choirs. Mr Elevator was a bit more electrified than usually, shaking my bones with a cover of “Funky Town”.

The Frights opened the main stage a bit mellow, and ending with a more aggressive sound.  Mystic Braves played a sunny California 60′s pop set that was escalated by surf-rock guitar solos and melodic organ crescendos. Touche Amore made it strong, DIIV made it blissful, Juicy J (and his open bar) made it crazy. The energy and craziness of this show were on another level.

LA skate punk band FIDLAR was the ultimate punk band that I was looking for and they kick it up,  I was not disappointed as the kids who had certainly come for them spent much of their time crowd surfing. Strokes front man Julian Casablancas came with a super smile,  he crooned some abrasive melodies, sharped by the Voidz. It was just delicious.

I left after the fantastic Die Antwoord, the South African rave-rap group that played around 15 songs. Surprising time, Ninja asked the crowd if their 10 year old daughter, Sixteen Jones, could come and dance in her pajamas just before her bedtime, which she did, and then again later, joined by her parents. I missed the closing with the Growlers due to the increasingly overcrowded place, but I could hear their cover of the Doors “People are Strange”, which they performed with Julian Casablancas.

Apparently BeachGoth is looking for another location for the next edition, and if I can make a suggestion, they maybe ask Banksy to open a Dismaland theme park in Orange County , it could be a gracious combo.