By Laura Ferreiro
The second annual Music Tastes Good festival is not only poised to sound good and taste good, but it is also doing good.
The festival, which takes place at the scenic Marina Green Park in Long Beach, Calif. September 30 to October 1, features an eclectic musical lineup including Sleater-Kinney, Ween, Ride, Charles Bradley, Los Lobos, Alvvays, Of Montreal, Dengue Fever, Heaven 17 and many more, and a tent filled with gourmet food created by top chefs from around the country. What’s more, it has teamed up with Oxfam, the international relief organization that works to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice.
Music Tastes Good is donating a percentage of ticket sales proceeds to Oxfam, and for just one day — August 31 — 100% of all ticket sales will go to the non-profit.
“We jumped at the opportunity to work with an organization like Oxfam,” said Christopher Watson, Music Tastes Good’s Creative & Marketing Director. “There are four famines in the world today and there’s not nearly enough attention on what’s happening. If we can help create even a small ripple in the big picture, whatever we could do to bring attention to this to help Oxfam we wanted to do.”
Watson explained that giving back is a huge part of why the festival was created in the first place. “There are three cornerstones of our brand — music, food, and doing good things and creating good,” he explained. “Oxfam gives us the opportunity to impress upon others and give back and do good, and honor (festival founder) Josh’s legacy.”
Josh Fischel, a long-time touring musician and documentary filmmaker, teamed up with SoCal talent buyer Jon Halperin to create the Music Tastes Good Festival in 2016. The idea was to showcase top talent and many of their favorite bands to attract showgoers to their hometown of Long Beach, which often plays second fiddle to Los Angeles in terms of attracting major musical acts. Tragically, just as last year’s festival was winding down, Fischel became gravely ill after a long battle with liver disease and passed away.
This year Watson, Halperin and Fischel’s wife Abbie Fischel are working hard to keep Fischel’s dream alive, booking several of his favorite bands, such as Ween, emphasizing good food and giving back. “Josh always wanted to do things as big and as crazy as possible,” Watson recalled. “We tried to stick to that. We booked some of his favorite bands. And Josh loved food, so we worked hard to make sure we elevated the food component and we’re bringing in chefs from New Orleans and Long Beach for a cultural exchange of flavors and ideas. We’re calling it ‘port to port.’ Both cities are so rich in cultural diversity, and we tried to play on this. Essentially we’re honoring Josh by building an incredible party.”
Oxfam Music Outreach Manager Bob Ferguson explained that there’s a lot of synergy between his organization and the festival, which is why it made sense for them to be a part of it. “Oxfam is thrilled to partner with Music Tastes Good this year,” he said. “There are so many interesting parallels between the festival and our work. I love that thousands of people will come together around common interests of great music and delicious food. We work with some of the greatest artists and chefs in the world to amplify our hunger, poverty, and justice campaigns, and we know that Southern Californians are always helpful to us. It’s a perfect place for us to be.”
Grab your festival tickets here. Check out the Music Tastes Good lineup announcement video here: