Doheny Days Rock Fest is Back and Goes Green

Dry-docked for seven years, the two-day rock music fest is back on the sands of Doheny State Beach this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and 11, and going green behind the scenes.

With 10,000 people expected each day this weekend, the surf-culture beach concert in Dana Point may have been out of sight in years past but never forgotten.  “I can’t tell you how many emails and phone calls I’ve received over the years from people asking about the festival,” said Rich Sherman, president of producer Omega Events.

Even though the Omega-produced Doheny Blues Festival is 14 years strong, its eight-year rock-and-roll counterpart took a breather in 2004. Sherman said it’s back on track because people never stopped asking for it.  “The excitement and love for Doheny Days never faded, inspiring us to re-launch the festival,” he said.

With three stages, the revamped venue will feature an eclectic lineup.  Grammy-winning rocker Ben Harper will headline Saturday night with songs from his passionately pointed new release “Give Till It’s Gone.” The 1950’s-goofball grooves of Weezer and solar-power-produced edgy indie tunes of Cake will be featured Sunday night.

Roots, rock, reggae and funk will ride the breaking sea breeze from more than 20 bands, including Laguna Beach locals Common Sense and Ken Garcia, as well as beach-culture favorites Ziggy Marley, Black Uhuru and Donovan Frankenreiter.  For the full line-up, go to dohenydays.com.

But the freshest piece of the two-day concert stream might be more behind the stage than on it.

For the first time and reflecting the changing times, the seaside serenade will use sustainable-energy systems.  All generators, which power the high-voltage sound systems and choreographed light displays, are bio-diesel.

Two vendors, 118 Degrees raw vegan cuisine out of Costa Mesa and Organic Oasis gourmet food and juice truck, will offer ecologically sustainable food choices.  Every food booth will provide compostable containers and utensils. Styrofoam has been nixed.

An eco-minded crew will also sort trash at 10 different waste stations on site, separating it for compost, recyclables and landfill.  And, to encourage a low-carbon footprint and less traffic congestion, a free bike valet will be at your service (the website offers bicycle and walking maps).

The festival’s programs are printed on recycled paper, volunteers will wear festival-official organic cotton t-shirts and bathrooms will provide earth-friendly tissue and soaps, all to put priority where surfboards go, the ocean.

The sandy fete will also bring back its small-town carnival atmosphere of midway games with fun-zone twists, like the latest-craze giant water bubble roller, rock-and-bounce bungee trampoline, “haute couture” face painting and airbrush tattoos.

Kids and adults alike can grab a pelican’s eye view of the scene after climbing a rock wall.
A famous surf break where the San Juan Creek from the Santa Ana Mountains forms a fresh-water lagoon, Doheny Beach was named in 1963 after the oil tycoon, Edward Doheny.  It remains one of the most polluted beaches in the area.

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