Many concert-goers are crammed into musky concert venues, drowning in a mob of sweaty, stinky fans, but for a third year, reggae lovers can enjoy music in the sunshine at the Shoreline Jam.
The reggae rock music festival will take place at the Queen Mary Events Park, transforming the open grass area into a hub for live music, fun games like beer pong and a tasty selection of food.
There will be two parallel stages set up along the waterfront, featuring bands like The Expendables, Fishbone and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds. Food vendors will be lined up near the back of the park, enclosing the two stages with room for other activities to take place on the lawn.
With the festival returning for its third year, Senior Entertainment Event Manager of the Queen Mary, Charity Hill, said there would be improvements to this year’s festival, such as additional vendors, as well as allowing picnic blankets so people can camp out, creating a similar atmosphere to that of the Hollywood Bowl.
“We left the front open for standing room to make sure that people who want to have a full concert experience can,” Hill said, “but we also want to balance the idea of the way the Hollywood Bowl does it where you can picnic along the back.”
According to Hill, the music lineup has evolved over the years, yet it was most enthusing during its first year when it included mainstream reggae-rock bands like Pepper.
Originally from Kailua Kona, Hawaii, Pepper returns for the second time to headline this year’s event.
Drummer Yosed Williams said besides loving Long Beach for its “special something in the air,” the band has an intimate connection to the city because it’s one of the first places at which they ever performed.
“You have to understand that when we first moved from Kona in 1999, one of our first concerts we went to was a reggae festival at the Queen Mary Park,” Williams said. “It was one of our first concerts in the mainland with our heads spinning because of the culture shock — to go from there and then being on the [Shoreline Jam], headlining for a second time, the whole nostalgia of it is a dream come true.”
Williams recalled their performance at the first Shoreline Jam as one of “the most memorable crowds” within the band’s past few years, and they are expecting another outstanding show this time around.
The first event resulted in a sold out festival, and Hill believes this year won’t be any different. She said that every event they hold at the Queen Mary makes Long Beach that much more prominent in the music community.
“It’s a very music driven community,” Hill said. “It’s kind of drawing awareness to our artistic side by bringing a whole bunch of people and a different demographic that don’t really come into Long Beach for entertainment.”
General admission tickets start at $25 and VIP tickets are $75. Parking is $15, and the doors open at 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.queenmary.com/events/shoreline_jam.php.