The sun- and surf-themed BeachLife Festival will be held in Redondo Beach this weekend.

BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach makes debut this weekend

The inaugural BeachLife Festival, a celebration of Southern California’s beach culture, will sail into Redondo Beach this weekend, May 3-5.

The festival will feature more than 40 bands, local culinary experiences, art and multiple surf and skateboarding components.

“We’ve built a three-day immersive experience on one of Los Angeles’ most famous beaches,” said Rob Lissner, co-founder of BeachLife. “It’s going to be the biggest beach party in California.”

The ultimate beach boy, Brian Wilson, is one of the headliners. Willie Nelson is another.

“That was the point,” Lissner said. “The location, that is driving this, the ability to have a beachy experience, and that hasn’t been done before in California. It was not to just create another festival.”

The idea for a SoCal beach festival came to Lissner and his partner Allen Sanford, who owns live music venue Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, while they were discussing how they felt the West Coast was underserved when it came to live music.

“This place has one of the biggest populations in the world but relatively few festivals — other than Coachella — that stick around,” Lissner said. “My partner Allen is born and raised in Southern California and knows the different beaches, and we thought we could do something that celebrates California surf culture.”

Sanford said finding the right venue was the most crucial aspect to the planning of the event.

“We have been quietly searching for a great venue for years,” Sanford said. “It had to be somewhere in L.A., on the beach, where we would be able to celebrate our culture authentically. Redondo Beach fits perfectly with our theme.”

Only 10,000 tickets will be sold, even though the space allows for a higher capacity. “We want to be sure everyone has space and there’s not crazy long lines for the bathrooms and concessions,” he said.

Tickets are $97 a day; VIP passes are available at $275 a day; Captain’s Passes are $995 a day. The Captain’s Pass will include seating in the “SideStage” area, a 50-seat sit-down pop-up restaurant just feet from the main stage, as well as private bungalows, premium access, premium food, valet parking, merchandise, concierge service and a private Captain’s Party.

“The SideStage experience is a bucket-list experience we’ve set up where a ticket buyer can sit literally on the side of the stage and eat a curated meal while watching one of their favorite bands,” Sanford said.

Also “performing” will be well-known L.A. chefs David LeFevre, Michael Cimarusti and Tin Vuong who will make the SideStage food.

Concessions for the general public will be handled by local vendors, picked by the organizers. “We wanted to stay true to the culture of what we’re trying to do, and at the same time offering something fun and unique to the consumer,” Sanford said.

The World Surf League will host its 19th annual 2019 Big Wave Awards from the BeachLife site on Thursday, the night before the festival begins. VIP and Captain’s Pass purchasers are invited to the ceremony and party afterward featuring the L.A.-based band X.

The festival will be livestreamed on a streaming site owned by the festival. “All the artists had to agree to stream,” said Lissner. “Our platform allows the stream to be delivered to third-party platforms. Anyone can pick up the stream. We want it to reach as many people as possible.”

Another goal of the event was to partner with organizations that are focused on the environment.

Zero Hero will provide event recycling stations, and Surfrider will organize the beach cleanup organization.

Sanford sees this as an annual event.

“We have a 10-year permit with the city of Redondo Beach and are developing a long-term business, not a short-term event,” he said. “The city of Redondo Beach has felt more like a partner than a city, and we couldn’t be happier with our long-term relationship.”