With Lots of Costumes and an Eclectic Lineup, Beach Goth Was OC’s Weirdest Music Fest

The Pharcyde performing at Beach Goth 2016 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, Calif./Laura Garcia / el Don

The Pharcyde performing at Beach Goth 2016 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, Calif./Laura Garcia / el Don

Thousands of young music fans from all over Orange County, California and beyond convened in Santa Ana over the weekend to experience Beach Goth, an eccentric music festival that brought together the weirdest in West Coast sound. From grown men wearing diapers and pacifiers to girls with shaved heads, on its fifth year, the two-day music event was a place where people went to escape reality.

The lineup at the music festival was so diverse it included sets from legendary punk prose Patti Smith to bubble-pop singer Melanie Martinez to ’90s R&B legends TLC to French new-wave surf rockers La Femme. The weather was also diverse — after sun on Saturday, it rained all day Sunday. Some attendees thought the weather, coupled with some rude security staff and the last-minute venue change, ruined the weekend. Others, however, found it manageable.

Blake Miller, the frontman of Los Angeles dance-punk band Moving Units who played a set of Joy Division songs, enjoyed the diversity of genres from the bands at the festival.

“[Beach Goth is] a unique festival that sort of plays with people’s expectations and surprises them,” Miller said. “I heard a lot of people talking about TLC and I think it’s a nice treat to see them perform.”

For most, dressing up was a huge part of the fest. The weirdness started with the costumes.

A group of teen posing as Spanish sitcom character Chapulin Colorado, ran to the stage to find the best view to stand for Blaqk Audio. A petite girl in pink space buns passed by the benches in the picnic area wearing nothing but pink flower nipple pasties underneath a black fishnet dress. Camille Merz and Rachel Paul, both in handmade costumes, were dressed up as the moon and the stars were just dazzling as they danced around to the set. The air reeked of weed from all the lit joints and the aroma of beer breath was strong. It smelled like someone sprayed the entire room with a can of malt liquor. This was Beach Goth V.

Siblings Ashley and Kevin Martinez, came dressed as glittery wizards describing their experience at the festival as “awesome.”

“I feel like every year it just gets better and better, with all the different genres and different bands it just feels like if everyone is all just hanging out with each other. The lineup was really cool too,” Ashley said.

Faith Hernandez

Faith Hernandez is a staff writer and the el Don's social media and engagement editor.

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