Mattson 2 kicks off the two-day Leucadia Summer Fun on the 101 festival at Lou's Records June 29. Photo by Wehtahnah Tucker
Arts Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News

Leucadia’s Music Festival kicks off summer

LEUCADIA — For the third consecutive year, Summer Fun on the 101 Leucadia’s Music Festival delighted visitors and locals alike June 29 and June 30. 

“This is a little like being in a time warp,” said Jean Purdue, an Encinitas resident. “It brings up a lot of good memories of when the crowds were smaller and the feel was just more intimate.”

Even though the surf music event was described as a bigger version of a “block party,” the entertainment and crowd swelled from the previous year.

Surf music — as the genre has become known — emerged on the scene around 1961. It was an extension of rockabilly and 1950’s rhythm and blues compositions. Beginning with instrumental compositions, surf music later incorporated vocal harmonies.

The Bel Airs and Dick Dale are the most commonly referred to pioneers in the surf music scene. “Those guys were heavy on the guitar and gave you this driving beat that served as our soundtrack in the early days,” said Bob Walker, an Oceanside resident and longtime surfer. “It reminds me of the days when you knew every guy on your local (surf) break and there weren’t that many of them.”

Headliners Mattson 2, for example, meld jazz with surf, while the band Slacktone exudes a progressive surf sound. “I like the fact that people brought their families, their dogs and just came down to chill,” said Mando Rodriguez, a Leucadia resident.

This year’s expanded event featured more than a dozen unique music groups plus a beer garden and giveaway drawings. While the performances were free, a $10 donation was requested to benefit the Paul Ecke Central Elementary’s “School as a Garden” project.

“I like the fact that the money I donated is going to a great cause,” said Pamela Hastings, a Vista resident who brought her family to the event at Roadside Park on July 9. “We got to hang out at Beacon’s (beach) and then walk to the park to hear awesome music,” she said. “It gives the day a real feeling of beach culture that is far beyond what my kids know.”

The school’s garden project serves as a “living lab” for students. Organizers said it also acts as a community education hub for all things “green.” Included in the themes addressed though lectures and hands-on demonstrations are home energy conservation, reduced footprint on the environment, healthy food choices and opportunities to participate in the emerging green local economy.

Leading by example, Stellar Solar was on hand to power the sound for the bands. “I think walking the talk is important, especially when it comes to events like these that can actually be a burden on the environment,” said Stan Simpson, a Carlsbad resident and environmental engineer. “It’s a great idea to combine something so relevant to a beach community like surf music and have the benefits go to everyone when it comes to the garden.”

The weekend also included a beach clean-up from Moonlight Beach north to Beacon’s Beach as well as a surf film on Saturday. “There’s never a bad time to clean up the beach,” said Niko Wells, 12. “You don’t have to wait for somebody to tell you to do it but it’s cool when there are a lot of people helping.”