By Gavin Heaney
The Hermosa Harmony Festival, the first ever beach helmet concert, drew over 1,200 fans last Saturday to the south side of Hermosa Beach Pier.
The family-friendly event featured bands, DJs and yoga on five stages, streaming across five channels on the high-fidelity headphones handed out to fans. Tickets were $ 40. A royalty for the headphones was refunded upon their return at the end of the festival.
Hermosa Beach-based World of Sound, co-founded by Adam Malovani, and Adam Lawson produced the event.
âThe mission of the Hermosa Harmony Festival was to bring the community together for outdoor music,â said Malovani. âEverything is based on connecting and collaborating with kind and creative people. “
âIt was such a magical combination of the South Bay community,â Lawson said. âEveryone has had a few weird years. Everyone is so polarized. But we are all human beings and art is a message of love that is communicated to everyone, regardless of where you come from.
The wireless headphones displayed colors that matched each of the scene’s five channels and transmitted far enough for fans to walk along the water’s edge. As night fell, a sea of ââfloating and dancing multicolored neon lights emerged. The blue Ecstatic Dance Stage team was spinning in a tribal frenzy. The crowd in pink helmets on the Better Together stage vibrated to the rhythm of the house. The yellow tribe of the Wellness Stage was illuminated by speakers, yoga and an acoustic performance by Kat Hall. The green team of the Captain Funk stage were thrilled by the DJs, and of course the dedicated redheads of the live music scene danced the night away to local bands Latch Key Kid, Kat Hall, Barley, Acoustic Graffiti and Cubensis.
Craig Marshall, guitarist and founding member of Cubensis, the world’s oldest Grateful Dead tribute band, said it was his first time performing in front of a headphone crowd.
âIt’s really different and it’s incredibly wonderful,â he said. âIt’s so clear. Anyone can hear exactly what we are doingâ¦ there are so many definitions. We were able to obtain individualized blends for each of us. For a musician, this is truly the ultimate experience.
Michael O’Mara, singer of the acoustic tribute to Led Zeppelin Acoustic Graffiti, had a similar experience.
âThis was our first all-helmet beach show, so we were very proud to be a part of it,â he said. “Through the headphones, the music sounds crystal clear, like you’re listening to a stereo, but it’s a live concert.”
The band gave fans a breathtaking acoustic rendition of Zeppelin’s classic “Going To California”, featuring mandolin, as the golden sun turned red and set in the warm sea. An impromptu maritime scene emerged, with dancers diving in and out of the water while enjoying an iconic Indian summer, the October sunset, their shadows slowly fading into the night.
People mingled, strolled on the beach and lay down on beach towels, going through the many different sounds the festival had to offer. The whole festival ran on solar power, which powered it long after the sun went down.
Festival participant Kimmy Matich, a local dance choreographer and mother of two toddlers, enjoyed the family atmosphere.
âIt was fun for us to run and dance with the family, bounce on the trampoline with all the lights glowing,â she said. âEveryone was dancing on their own channel at some point. The kids loved it. We stayed all day and all night.
âWe want to take this show on the road, to other beaches along the California coast, and ultimately to stage concerts in headphones, at sunset around the world,â said Malovoni.
âThe festival experience really turns me on,â Lawson said. âI love camping, I love the outdoors and being on the beach. Being in nature and discovering the music, the passion and the energy it creates is what I love.
World of Sound Productions plans to bring its pop-up utopia back to Hermosa Beach, as well as Joshua Tree and other natural places soon. To verify worldofsoundproductions.com for upcoming events. emergency