In another example of it raining when it pours, the greater Los Angeles area, which previously had zero country or Americana festivals, is now going to have two in the coming months. The latest to be announced is the BeachLife Ranch Country & Americana Festival, to take place Sept. 16-18 in the city of Redondo Beach.
Headliners at the seaside setting in the South Bay will include the Lumineers, Brandi Carlile, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Dierks Bentley and Wilco. All of these artists are successful headliners at the amphitheater level; Carlile, for instance, is already playing two nights at the Greek in June, and both those shows are sold out.
Also on the bill are the scions of the families of two country music legends. Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real are on the lineup, and the festival is promising “a very special performance of ‘Songs Of Waylon Jennings,’ featuring Shooter Jennings and surprise guests.” Additional acts to round out the three days of music will be named later.
This comes on the heels of another new country/Americana festival in the area that its getting its “first annual” edition in the next four months. That would be Goldenvoice’s Palomino Festival, a one-day affair set to take place in Pasadena July 9 with Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Jason Isbell and others. Of course, the Stagecoach Festival in Indio has been going on for far longer, but L.A. fans who love the genres but aren’t necessarily looking for the complications of pricey hotels or camping will be glad to have two multi-artist gatherings closer to home.
Even with the loose parameters that come with combining country with Americana, the lineup for BeachLife Ranch is a particularly unrestrictive one. Hall and Oates haven’t really been thought to fit into either genre before, although it’s unlikely attendees will complain about having such a feel-good, if untwangy, favorite as an attraction. Bentley is the only representative from the world of contemporary mainstream country on the bill, at least so far, but many Americana fans have an appreciation for him, especially as he has dipped into the world of bluegrass on occasion. Wilco hasn’t always even seemed like an Americana act, per se, although the band is veering back toward that tag with its new “Cruel Country” album.
If the name of the new festival is a mouthful, it’s partly to establish the festival as an adjunct to the already-existing BeachLife Festival, which began in 2019 in the oceanside setting that will also host this sister fest. The latest BeachLife took place May 13-15 and featured rock acts such as the Smashing Pumpkins, Sheryl Crow, Weezer and 311.
Tickets for the weekend are on sale now here. A basic general admission pass runs for $299. VIP passes are $688 and “Admiral” passes are $995. It doesn’t stop there — the festival is offering a private bungalow “Outlaw” pass that might actually involve going afoul of the law to afford, at $2999.
BeachLife co-founder/producer Allen Sanford explained the attempt to create a separate ethos for this sister festival in a statement, saying, “We’re excited to celebrate the ‘cowboy surfer’ way of life … This festival is inspired by growing up in Southern California and spending summers in Central California trail riding on horses all day, then coming home to wash up for a sunset BBQ of Santa Maria tri-tip with all the fixins. It’s different from surf and skate beach culture, but the vibe is the same, and something we want to celebrate: love and respect for the outdoors, nature, friends and community.”