The Specials, Iron & Wine, Squeeze, Warpaint booked for Long Beach’s Music Tastes Good

Emily Kokal of Warpaint at the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. The band will perform at the Music Tastes Good festival in Long Beach.
(Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times)

The Specials, Iron & Wine, Sylvan Esso, Squeeze, De La Soul and Warpaint will anchor the first-ever Music Tastes Good festival, a three-day event set for late September in downtown Long Beach. Tickets will go on sale May 13 for the independent-focused concert, which will feature a diverse array of local and touring acts.

“We want to make Long Beach a destination,” says Josh Fischel, a Long Beach-based musician and promoter who is organizing the event. 

Other artists on the bill include Dr. Dog, Gallant, Deltron 3030, the Melvins, Living Colour, Twin Peaks, Las Cafeteras, RX Bandits, Metz, Kate Tempest, Nick Waterhouse, Cody Chesnutt and Girlpool. The all-ages festival will boast a total of four stages and take over multiple blocks in Long Beach’s downtown area.

Music Tastes Good will run Sept. 23 through Sept. 25 and three-day passes will cost $120. A VIP option, which includes a meal, is $240. Day tickets will be sold as well, ranging from $25 to $75, depending on the day. 


The poster for Music Tastes Good.
The poster for Music Tastes Good.
(Music Tastes Good )

Fischel, who organizes free Long Beach music event Live After 5, hopes Music Tastes Good will bring more than 20,000 people to the neighborhood. Planning for the event began in late 2014, and was solidified with the help of private investors. 

The goal, says booker Jon Halperin, is for Music Tastes Good to be an annual event. He also hopes it will spur more live music in Long Beach. 

“Long Beach is a tough market,” says Halperin. “No band is going to pass up a show in L.A. Long Beach is so hungry for music, but we don’t really get the artists coming out here to play because they’re not going to forsake a play in L.A. to play in Long Beach. Long Beach sort of gets overlooked.”


Halperin describes Music Tastes Good as a sort of mini-Coachella, albeit one without the electronic music. The Dead Ships, the Sound of Urchin, the Ziggens, Cambodian Space Project, Dustin Lovelis, Rudy De Anda, Lemolo, Spare Parts For Broken Hearts, Machineheart and the Eagle Rock Gospel Singers are among the others on the bill. 

Different days of the event will be themed to varying types of food and music, with Friday focusing on local restaurants and craft beer and Sunday featuring a Bloody Mary brunch.

Follow me on Twitter: @toddmartens

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