Event Review Events

Santa Cruz Music Festival Comes in Waves [Review]

Santa Cruz tends to be a sleepy beach town with the most relaxed atmosphere in the greater Bay Area. While that is generally the case for Santa Cruz, the city came alive during Santa Cruz Music Festival.

Music, performers, and pop-ups filled the streets. Located in the heart of Santa Cruz’s downtown, SCMF was popping off. There was all kinds of music in every atmosphere imaginable. Motiv, a popular club in downtown Santa Cruz, was playing music at all hours of the day; San Lorenzo Park saw some of the biggest up and comers in House DJ through the afternoon; and the Catalyst had the heaviest bass artists test the subwoofers.

This year’s SCMF also hosted its first-ever after-party for those with VIP wristbands. The after-party lasted through the night until 5 AM, so for those who were looking to rally through the night, the event never stopped!

However, music was not the only thing the 2-day fest had to offer. The festival curated events including sustainability, cannabis cultivation, and even producing lessons! Offering a great way to get away from the music, and still get a bang for the buck.

Musical Highlights

Jai Wolf

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Sajeeb Saha AKA Jai Wolf has been a force since he appeared in the scene with his future bass remixes and chilled out electro-pop tunes. He even released his debut album A Cure To Loneliness in April. As a result, he has been able to up his visual game and his producing prowess to another level. The Santa Cruz civic auditorium was the busiest it got all weekend for his set. The producer threw down VIP remixes and edits that gave his tracks the extra edge they needed to hit the crowd just right.

Hippie Sabotage

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Hippie Sabotage, consisting of brothers Kevin and Jeff Saurer, led an high energy set for over 60 minutes. The duo had one of the brothers constantly interacting with the crowd, throwing t-shirts, and generally vibing as the other DJed.

At one point during their set, 15 or so fans ended up jumping on stage with them and dancing around for the better part of 5 minutes before being escorted off by security. Needless to say, it was one of the more interesting sets of the festival. 

Ford.

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Hailing from Utah, 19-year-old producer Luc has taken lo-fi to another level. Ford.’s unique spin on the genre ended up helping him sign to ODESZA’s label Foreign Family Collective, where Jai Wolf released his breakout hit, Indian Summer. Luc released his debut album (The) Evening. Luc’s feel-good music is sure to impact more people as he continues to gain notoriety.

Takeaways

Closing out its sixth year, SCMF has certainly addressed the problems it has had in the past and grown into a well-organized festival. It was interesting to have the festival in October, rather than when it normally was slated in February, but the temperature was not an issue. It will be exciting to see how SCMF will continue to grow in the future!

Featured image via Dash Grey | Jai Wolf.

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