Orange County is being recognized more and more as a prime location for music festivals, and Tim Ryan, president and CEO of the Honda Center in Anaheim, said that such recognition is long overdue.
“I don’t see L.A. and O.C. competing against each other any longer,” Ryan said. “I see a unique scenario that has two of the very best, distinct markets in the country within 25 miles of each other.”
Ryan is betting big on the Honda Center for the inaugural Real Street hip-hop festival, which will be staged Aug. 10 and 11.
The all-ages event, put on by L.A. hip-hop station REAL 92.3 FM, will be one of the biggest music fests ever staged in Orange County, with three stages, featuring street art, live murals and even the “California Love Thunderdome,” a bar installation reminiscent of the post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” franchise and inspired by the Tupac song.
Real Street Festival is a collaboration between the Honda Center, Synergy Global Entertainment, iHeartMedia and REAL 92.3.
Planning has taken the better part of a year and close to 100 staff working to pull off the event, Ryan says.
“Year one for any mega event is probably the toughest,” Ryan said. “Everything has to be created from the ground up.”
Cardi B, Future and Migos are scheduled to headline the weekend-long festival. The fourth headliner, A$AP Rocky, is currently in a Swedish jail following an altercation in Stockholm, though still shown on the Real Street website as among the performers.
2 Chainz, Big Sean, Meek Mill, Miguel and Rae Sremmurd are also on the docket.
Center court at the Honda Center will be transformed into the REAL 92.3 morning radio show host Big Boy’s studio — with surprise guests guaranteed to drop by.
Steps away will be Big Boy’s Neighborhood, which includes the West Coast Custom Car Show, where visitors can get up and close and personal with some of the hottest rides in Southern California — many featuring artistic palettes inspired by hip-hop. There will also be a barber shop, nail salon and graffiti wall.
“Everyone I have spoken with is very excited to see a major event like Real Street being hosted at this location,” said Ryan.
Festival organizers are hoping for a successful event, and if the reception is decent, a second iteration in 2020 is all but assured.
“Would we like to see this become an annual event? The answer is a resounding yes,” Ryan said. “We are going to do everything in our power to create a truly great experience for all fans. They will ultimately be the ones that tell us if we lived up to their expectations.”
IF YOU GO
What: REAL 92.3 presents “Real Street Festival”
When: Aug. 10 to 11
Where: Honda Center, 2695 E Katella Ave., Anaheim
Cost: Tickets start at $99
Information: (714) 704-2400; realstreetfest.com