Anjunabeach SoCal Review
Summer is in full swing and on Saturday, June 23, Above and Beyond made history by performing their largest show in California to date at Huntington Beach! Tickets for Anjunabeach SoCal went on sale months ago (around March I believe), and my husband and I immediately jumped on the presale as we love the Anjuna label and live about 20 minutes from Huntington Beach! We were fortunate enough to snag a 4-pack of tickets (came out to about $45 at ticket) so we also got a great deal. The lineup featured Luttrell, Mat Zo, Lane 8, and Above & Beyond. This event was also appealing because it went from 2-9 (earlier times are becoming more and more appealing to me as I age)! Let’s get to the good stuff below…
Anjunabeach was set right on the beach with the stage facing the opposite direction of the ocean. Would’ve been cool to have it facing the ocean so we could have a more scenic view, but I think they did this to minimize noise for residents? SoCal was definitely experiencing some June gloom, as the sun only came out for a few minutes at around 3:30 and it was pretty windy and cold the rest of the day! The venue was rather large, boasting carnival rides, fun photo ops, one giant stage, food trucks, and a few bars. Activated Events sponsored the show and this was my first time attending on their behalf. Let me tell you that they are no Insomniac, and I had a few issues:
- Was not a fan of how the VIP area was setup. It split the venue in half. Sort of felt like a division of the haves and have nots.
- Sound system needed work, could hardly hear the artists besides Above & Beyond.
- Stage was ok, but I thought it was strange how they had a small screen in the middle (kind of blocked the main one). Was super crowded too!
- This isn’t necessarily Activated Events fault, but it was really difficult walking through the sand for 7 hours (would have liked a little pavement or mats if possible! They also had the food and water on the complete opposite side, so it took us nearly half an hour just to get there from the stage.
- The water station was a complete joke! They literally advertised free water but the stand was all the way on the opposite side of the stage and they gave out only one Styrofoam cup of water per person (from gallon plastic jugs by the way)! I heard the bar ran out of bottled water at around 5. Totally wasteful and unacceptable at the beach on a Summer day.
- Port-O-Potties were not bad, but they didn’t have hand sanitizer.
As mentioned above, the lineup was probably the best thing about this whole experience. My husband and I unfortunately missed the Yoga set, but we arrived just in time to catch Luttrell at 3:30. The venue wasn’t super packed at this point, and getting in was very easy! The sound definitely could’ve been cranked up, but otherwise no complaints at this point! We spent a decent amount of time running into people and meeting others (I felt bad because my husband really loves the music and would listen for 4 straight hours if it was up to him)! Lane 8 came on after Luttrell and he never disappoints. We recently saw his Little by Little tour, so he played some familiar songs, but always a pleasure to listen to him. Mat Zo was next and it was nice to hear him drop some of his big hits and throw in some trance vibes. Each artist played for about an hour until Above & Beyond came on around 7 and they played until closing at 9. Everyone went wild for Above & Beyond (no surprise), and they played all of their hits. I think this is probably the 15th time I’ve seen them, and although I love their sound, songs, and label, it would’ve been nice to hear more of a variety from their other artists on the label. I’m finding their shows to be a bit repetitive and predictable, but I understand. They know how to put on a good show and to give the fans what they want!
Food and Drink
There were plenty of food trucks and we ended up trying some Korean tacos ($5 for a single taco!) and having a meat platter from a BBQ truck later. Both were really good, but inflated prices are almost always to be expected! I already filled you in on the water situation, so no need to revisit that! Drink prices were a rip off as usual – I saw a tall can of beer going for nearly $18 and cocktails were nearly $22 from what I can remember.
I actually expected there to be more kandi kids and die-hard Above & Beyond fans, but I felt like there was an overwhelmingly large amount of locals who just wanted to party and didn’t really care for the music or respect the culture. For the most part everyone was having a good time and respectful. I traded some kandi, made friends with some strangers, and ran into a lot of familiar faces!
I overall had a fun time at the show, but don’t know if I would return. I attended Common Ground in December at the Convention Center and that show was flawless compared to Anjunabeach. Maybe it’s because they partnered with Insomniac? 🙂 I know I’m such a broken record and the #1 fan, but it’s true! Here are my pros and cons:
- Local venue for SoCal natives
- Affordable ticket prices if you purchased early (they were going for $75+ the day of)
- Pretty solid lineup for a short event
- Plenty of rides and food options
- Good show hours if you aren’t a night owl
- Lockers to store your items (I heard they were crowded though)
- Sound system and stage weren’t the greatest
- Walking in the sand from the stage to the food took forever
- A little crowded
- The joke water situation
- Price for food and drink
For those of you who went to Anjunabeach, I hope you had a blast! Let me know your thoughts on the event in a comment below. If you liked this my Anjunabeach SoCal Review and were interested in reading about more events I’ve attended, visit my EDC 2018 review here, Insomniac’s Factory 93 featuring Carl Cox here, and CRSSD Spring 2018 here. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Tomorrowland next!