October 23, 2021


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How the Pearl Jam-Fronted Ohana Festival was epidemic

5 min read

A year ago, organizers of the annual Ohana Festival in Dana Point, California, were stuck in their homes in the COVID-19 epidemic instead of wandering the beach for a planned three-day performance by Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Kings. Of Leon, My Morning Jacket, Maggie Rogers and Pretenders. So it came as a pleasant surprise to everyone involved that after a one-year suspension, Ohana not only roared again with Bedar’s two headlining sets and Pearl Jam, it actually turned into a second “Encore” weekend titled Pearl Jam, setting the stage for further expansion in the future. To do.

“When we re-announced the festival in May, it quickly sold out and we found ourselves in a unique place where Pearl Jam is available. We worked hand-in-hand with Mancha and Dana Point City and were able to lock in quickly for the second weekend, ”said Rich Best, California’s regional talent for Live Nation. Diversity. “Our vision is slow and steady – grow biologically and never compromise with fans or artists. In our fifth year, we couldn’t be more proud.

A partnership between Ohana, Live Nation, Veder and Pearl Jam manager Mark Smith, debuted in 2016 at Dana Point Beach with a capacity of 1,500. Although Wedder made solo titles each year, this was the first time he had performed there with his new solo band, Pearl Jam. “It was an incredible day of music, art and musicians, and doing it here, burning in the ocean air, has been like a perfect wave wave,” Weatherman said on Saturday.

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Ohana Festival Weekend Pearl Jam2
Michael Kravetsky

As previously reported, the organizers were thrown out for a few hours before the weekend began on September 2nd, when headliner Kings of Leon came out to stay with their ailing mother, who died the next morning. Before he got time to plan Best’s contingency, he learned that Wader had already spoken on the phone with Kings of Leon’s follow-up brothers and decided to add a last-minute set with his solo band to fill the Kings of Leon slot. “There’s such a lasting, deep relationship between the two bands that I’m not surprised,” Best says. “It’s family. Ohana.”

In fact, the communal vibe ran deep on both weekends, with many artists such as My Morning Jacket, Glenn Hansard, Brandy Carlyle, and Slitter-Kinney having strong ties to Veder and / or Pearl Jam. The gates reopened in 2016 after the White Reaper appeared for the third time at the event, becoming the first band to perform on the main stage in Ohana. Numerous works performed with each other on stage, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron won the MVP Award on October 2, playing four different times.

“When it comes to the artist’s curation, Eddie is at hand,” Best said. “He often has a list of things he wants to see. The irresistible theme is that we only book the bands that we are trying to create. Door to door is left. It is a communal backdrop. Our lineups are diverse with a mix of new lines and classics. We can’t be the most proud that some of the worst women grace our stage. It comes from above – it’s Eddie Vader.

On both weekends, Carlyle greeted his Seattle roots by welcoming Cameron and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCree for a set-closing cover of Soundgarden’s “Searching with My Good Eye Closed.” “It’s an absolute dream to be with you in this beautiful place,” said Carlyle, who was also celebrating the release of her new album “In This Silent Day” on Friday.

According to Vedder, Beck had so much fun after his set on Friday that he came back the next day just to have fun and watch the music. On Friday, Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam played lightning during Josh Klinghaffer’s first live performance as Pluralon (Klinghofer performed four more times throughout the festival: twice with Veder’s solo band and Pearl Jam). Tim Robbins and Slitter-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein were seen walking and talking behind the scenes, when Hawkins said he discovered after chatting with Vedder that they both learned to surf the same Dana Point beach as teenagers that surround the festival site.

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Beck performs at the Ohana Festival
Michael Kravetsky

In its first public performance on Saturday, the NHC made a genuine proposal that K 90’s alternative rock, K Foo Fighters members Taylor Hawkins and Pat Smear and Jane’s addicts Dave Navarro and Chris Channy Queens came out of the original plus covers of “Keep” to keep themselves alive. “(Cameron swaps for Hawkins on drums) and the Red Hot Chili Papers” My Friends “, in that group, made it even more unique by putting Chad Smith on stage behind the kit, in agreement with Navarro’s brief mid-90s.

Pearl Jam ended the festival on Saturday with the longest of four shows, which broke a three-year break at sea on September 18th. Listen. 2020’s “Gigaton” (“Dance of the Clairvents”, “Quick Escape,” “Long Way”) 90s Classic (“Once Upon a Time,” “Black,” “Last Exit”) Fan-favorite rarity (“Laughter,” “Waste Reprint” / “Losing Life,” “No Code” – “All Night”). Pearl Jam sang with Veder on the cover of her “Again Today” A stage full of guests, including Smith, Hawkins, Slitter-Kinney’s Karin Tucker, producer Andrew Watt, surf legend Kelly Slater and tennis star John McEnroe and his wife Patty Smith, joined Pearl Jam in a close-up of Neil Young’s closing ceremony. Rocking in the free world.

At a time when large-scale festivals are slowly making a comeback, Best says Ohana’s beautiful beach setting and Live Nation’s strict coveted protocol were both key to pulling a safe and successful event. “Of course [being] The outside has helped us navigate the water through a slightly different lens, but in no way does that mean we use it differently, “he said.” The safety of our fans, our staff and our artists leads us in every decision. “

What’s more, this year’s edition has proven that Ohana can survive two weekends, which is the best excitement for what could happen next. “Mark, Eddie and I are feeling this‘ Encore ’vibe,” he said, referring to the success of this year’s Bonus Weekend. “You can see it again.” While Ohana sees the possibility of returning to Dana Point next year, it could eventually wash ashore on another beach. “After 2022,” Best said, “maybe we’re seeing it near a beautiful beach, where there’s some place on Earth.”

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Pearl Jam performs at the Ohana Festival Weekend 2
Michael Kravetsky

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