Music Tastes Good Draws Eyes To Long Beach With Studded Lineup For Inaugural Festival This September

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Gaslamp Killer at the Packard Building in downtown Long Beach for Music Tastes Good’s lineup festival party on Saturday. Photos by Esther Kang.

The word is out: Come the last weekend of September, an unprecedented music and food festival is taking over downtown Long Beach with a top-shelf lineup that includes Iron & Wine, Sylvan Esso, De La Soul, Warpaint and The Specials. It will be presented by KCRW.

Music Tastes Good, which takes place September 23-25, is an “equal-parts music and food” event pairing premiere live music performances with “as many of everyone’s favorite Long Beach restaurants involved,” said Vince Guiterrez, Music Tastes Good’s production coordinator.

“We wanted to shoot for the moon right out of the get-go,” Guiterrez said. “We wanted to establish ourselves as something that’s never happened before in Long Beach.” 

Music Tastes Good is the brainchild of Joshua Fischel, a longtime musician who, this summer, will mark his 20th year in Long Beach. This is the latest—and perhaps most ambitious undertaking—for Fischel, who also spearheads Downtown Long Beach Association’s free concert series Live After 5, Summer and Music festivals and RIOT Stage.  

Saturday night’s festival lineup announcement party in MTG’s warehouse in downtown Long Beach was a night to remember by its own merits. Long Beach’s beloved DJ Dennis Owens kicked off the dance party, followed by DJ NOBODY (Low End Theory) and Gaslamp Killer (Brainfeeder). 

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Joshua Fischel, creator and curator of Music Tastes Good, announces the lineup Saturday night. 

Around 10:00PM, Fischel approached the mic on stage and the crowd leaned closer. He thanked a number of people including his wife, the MTG team and their sponsors for their belief and support before cueing the video presentation revealing the lineup of some 60 bands, a mix of national and local acts across rock n’ roll, hip hop, reggae, world, soul and jazz. 

FB IMG 1462824639709The kickoff on Friday, Sep. 23, will be a relatively low-key affair, featuring some seven bands including Spare Hearts For Broken Hearts, RX Bandits and Living Colour on one stage beginning around 4:00PM.  

“That’s for the community,” said Brandon Halvorson, MTG’s marketing manager. “We want it to be cheap. We want the community to come out and we want everyone to have a good time. It’s like a backyard BBQ rock n’ roll fest.” 

Saturday will consist of four stages, shutting down a large chunk of Pine Avenue for the festivities. A food court consisting of some 15 local restaurateurs will also be on deck. Deltron 30/30, Twin Peaks, Dr. Dog and Girlpool are among some other performers that day. Locally-bred Rudy De Anda and Dustin Lovelis of Porch Party Records will also perform, as well as Oakland-based Golden Drugs and Pregnant. 

Sunday will tune back down to a one-stage festival featuring an eclectic range of musicians, with Sylvan Esso headlining. De La Soul, Christian Scott and local jazz-electronic group Bootleg Orchestra will also perform that day. 

“The goal of the event is to put Long Beach on the map as a music destination,” Guiterrez said. “That’s the goal. It’s to bring live music from all over the world back to Long Beach. We want to put it in competition with LA and the OC. Don’t just drive through. Stop in and play.” 

Tickets are $25 on Friday, $75 on Saturday, $35 on Sunday. Limited weekend passes are available for $120 online. Long Beach residents can purchase them for $110 at Fingerprints Records, at Live After Five as well as Summer and Music events. VIP packages are available for $240. For more information, visit

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