Annual Music Festivals in Long Beach
Long Beach has some impressive musical chops, having produced performers all over the musical spectrum: from Snoop to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Warren G to Sublime. So it comes as little surprise that the city is also home to a wide array of music festivals, single and multiple day affairs that not only offer a wide selection of music – jazz, house, R&B, dance – but food, wellness and community. Listen up!
LONG BEACH JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION
This event has presented a consistent stream of A-list, R&B musicians including Marsha “The Songstress” Ambrosius – half of the multimillion album selling group, Floetry. The Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration, held at Rainbow Lagoon Park, utilizes music not only to entertain but to tell the story of the Black experience, especially locally. It presents such local groups as step outfits from Cal State Long Beach as well as the Antioch mass gospel choir and local African drum and dance groups, all designed, celebration organizers say, to “take folks on a journey through Black culture.”
LONG BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL
There may be other area jazz festivals, but none offer what Long Beach Jazz Festival does: It is the only jazz festival held in an outdoor, waterfront setting, as it will be for the 33rd time, August 12-14 at Rainbow Lagoon Park. Featuring a lineup of renowned jazz and blues players – headlined by the likes of Sergio Mendes, Ledisi, Robert Glasper and Average White Band – the festival will also continue its commitment to wellness as its “Healthy Taste of Jazz” theme will include inspirational and expert speakers providing information and education on healthy food choices, daily stress relief, organic products and healthcare awareness.
LONG BEACH PRIDE
Music has long been a central element in Long Beach Pride’s success, as it has consistently offered star-studded rosters over the years, including Dreamgirls (Jennifer Holliday and Jennifer Hudson), disco icons (The Village People, KC and the Sunshine Band and Eveyln “Champagne” King), as well as musicians representing a miles-wide swath of musical styles, from The Bangles to “Supreme Diva of Mexican Pop” Gloria Trevi, Queen Latifah to Sara Bareilles. This past year featured Iggy Azaela as a headliner, with Alex Acosta performing at the Dance Pavillion and local artist Jennifer Corday on the Country Stage.
This festival’s focus, it’s entire reason for being, rests upon House music. In fact, Day Trip, created in 2018, likes to say its about “House Music All Day Long!” Held at the Harry Bridges Memorial Park (formerly known as the Queen Mary Events Park) adjacent to the Queen Mary, Day Trip features more than 30 DJs, such major artists as MK, Armand Van Helden, Bob Moses and a while lot more. It attracts big crowds that come to dance and/or sip speciality cocktails from the festivals signature 46-ounce fishbowl.