These three days will go down in history as one of the best Cali Vibes, nay reggae festivals, ever.
Cali Vibes 2023 Recap.
A festival for the books. From Snoop Dogg’s legendary performance in his hometown, to the star-studded Katastro tribute set in memory of Andy Chaves. The last-minute mashup performance by Little stranger and Artikal Sound System’s cheekily titled Strange A.S.S., to the standout presentation from GRAMMY-award winning artist Kabaka Pyramid. These three days will go down in history as one of the best Cali Vibes, nay reggae festivals, ever.
View this post on Instagram
The weather was perfect, the vibes were immaculate, and the shows were first class.
A perfect kick off to the first day. Tunnel Vision from San Clemente were the first to start the weekend, bringing their signature style of socal surf rock/reggae ska. Meanwhile the dancehall-inspired Boomyard Stage was blessed with selectors like Rory Stonelove and Yaadcore, Protoje’s former touring DJ. Class favorites Artikal Sound System were next on the main “Vibes Stage”, followed by GRAMMY award winner Kabaka Pyramid at the aptly titled “Green Stage”. The sprawling lawn where in which he sang title tracks from his latest album “The Kalling”. Steel Pulse, Iya Terra, Soja, and Collie Buddz were just a few of the artists that alternated stages before Protoje (with a surprise appearance by Lila Ike) closed down the Green Stage. Rebelution ended the night with a spectacular firework display on the Vibes Stage.
Excitement sparkled in the air walking into the festival Saturday.
Vendor booths hawking everything from band merch to beach towels were conveniently located in a row right down the center of the grounds. Helping break up the 5-10 minute walk from the main Vibes stage to the Green stage. Highlight sets of the day included hometown heroes Long Beach Dub All Stars and headliner Snoop Dogg, who attracted the biggest crowd of the weekend. Along with Cypress Hill, Methodman and Redman, and Dirty Heads. Katastro’s guest-filled tribute set to Andy Chaves came in a close second for crowd size, awash in Katastro tee shirts and hats. The lineup was pushed around a bit to compensate for the loss of Alborosie. But a last-minute collaborative set featuring Artikal Sound System and Little Stranger cheekily named “Strange A.S.S.” more than made up for it.
Women owned the last day of the festival! Sunday came out swinging, with more beautiful weather and smiles all around.
Boston’s finest, The Elevators, currently on their Sharks and Frikin Laser Beams tour. Opened on the main stage after a tribute set to Lee “Scratch” Perry. Over on the Boomyard stage, female DJ powerhouses Nikki Z, DJ Green B, and DJ Daneekah made the whole crowd bounce. Hawaiian songstress Paula Fuga joined HIRIE and the YouTube sensation from Down Under, Tash Sultana in commanding a large chunk of normally-male dominated festival lineups. Ben Harper and Jack Johnson ended the night on a gentle and peaceful note. Jakob Nowell (son of late Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell) joined Johnson on stage for a tribute to his father with the Sublime classic “Bad Fish” and “Boss DJ”
With festival-goers eagerly already looking forward to Cali Vibes 2024 after such an incredible 2023 experience, the only question remains: when is the first lineup announcement?!
Check out some of ThePiers exclusive interviews from our Cali Vibes Recap 2023