Mahalo Ohana


FOO FIGHTERS: performing at Ohana Fest 2023 (credits: rohofoto, Ohana Fest Instagram) 

Kat Piantka | Writer

October 12, 2023

The seventh annual Ohana Music Festival returned to Doheny State Beach for three days of music beginning on September 29. The Ohana Festival is one of the biggest music festivals held locally and attracts a wide variety of audiences with its broad range of popular and upcoming artists. The festival usually occurs on the first weekend of October and an estimated 20,000 people attend each day and it seems that with each passing year, it only continues to grow in popularity due to the scenic and unique environment of Doheny State Beach, relaxed atmosphere, warm weather, and the popularity of artists that perform.

OHANA FEST LINEUP: schedule of performers and headliners (Ohana Fest)

For instance, this year, the artists that headlined were: The Killers, Pretenders, Foo Fighters, Haim, Backstreet Lovers, Sammy Hagar, Father John Misty, The Chicks, as well as many other artists including, Eddie Vedder, member of Pearl Jam, and founder of the festival. Additionally, smaller bands and solo artists are allowed to showcase their talent on the same big stage with the goal of developing a following and fan base like the other more popular artists. The Ohana Fest is unlike any other festival and only continues to become more nationally recognized due to the artists who play each year.

The Killers brought in many fans such as sophomore Ellie Martin, who went to the first night of Ohana due to her love for the band, despite being unable to buy tickets in advance to the festival. Ellie and her father were able to scalp cheap tickets in front of the gates of Ohana from fans selling extra tickets, this only added to the thrill of her experience. She describes the night as being “amazing, [her] favorite part was when the [Killers] sang When You Were Young.” Even if you are not a big fan of one of the headlining bands, the Ohana Festival is an incredible experience and goers are sure to leave as fans after listening to their music. As a first-time festival attendee, Ellie “highly recommends others to see the Ohana Fest” and hopes to come back in the future. 

Junior Grace Suckiel shares similar opinions. She thought the experience was amazing and hopes to turn this into a new annual tradition with her friends because experiencing this with them was the “best part” and only added to the “fun” of the experience and memories. However, Grace does advise Ohana seekers of 2024 to be “prepared for a lot of standing and walking!” Most of the venue is set on grass fields with minimal seating in high-rise bleachers set further back and away from the stages. Additionally, limited parking at Doheny Beach requires attendees to be shuttled in, Ubered in, or park and walk in from various local parking lots near the Dana Point Harbor. 

Overall, the Ohana Fest is an unforgettable event that people must experience at some point in their lives. Eddie Vedder, who is one of the most respected and admired talents in the music industry, will only continue to promote and grow the fame of the festival and welcome new talented artists. Ohana brings together a crowd of people differing from that of Coachella, Stage Coach, and Lollapalooza creating a more family-friendly environment allowing the festival’s reputation to fit its name. The concert comes with its perks and cons like most things in life, but the uniqueness of the venue and the positive atmosphere will surely make first-time attendees feel welcomed into the Ohana family.

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