Each year Orange County celebrates the best the state has to offer musically. Do you like your tunes loud and accompanied by refreshments? Or is a laid-back concert with an ocean view more your speed? No matter your tastes, these OC music festivals hit the right notes.
Doheny Blues Festival
Doheny State Beach
25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Dana Point, CA 92629
Date: May 16 and 17, 2015
Dana Point gets red hot in May during this weekend of live music. This year’s headliners include Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs and Paul Rodgers will have you singing the blues in the OC. For those thirsty times between sets, the Doheny Blues Festival offers a wine lounge and microbrew tastings begin at 11 a.m. each day at the Backporch Stage. The International Food Court also promises everything from BBQ to roasted almonds and for the first time in the history of the festival, mimosas will be served.
Sunset Jazz at Newport
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
900 Newport Center Dr.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Date: Wednesday nights from July 8 through September 16, 2015
Unlike other OC music festivals that run for just a few days, Sunset Jazz spans most of the summer. The Four Freshman kick off the 2015 season and, on August 26, Jimmie “J.J.” Walker is scheduled to appear during an evening of jazz and comedy. Sunset Jazz takes place in the Marriott’s Rose Garden, which offers table service during the weekly event. Nothing beats the mid-week blues better than cool jazz, good food and an ocean view.
Real Blues Festival of Orange County
Malone’s Bar & Grill
604 E. Dyer Rd.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Date: September 13, 2015
Otherwise known as Blues Behind the Orange Curtain, the Real Blues Festival celebrates its sixth year in 2015. Sponsored by the Orange County Blues Society, this event is considered Southern California’s top grass roots blues festival. This year’s line-up features Juke Joint Jokers and the Griff Hamlin Band. Food, beverages and vendor booths will be available.
San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival
100 and 200 Block of Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, CA 92672
Date: August 9, 2015
Though music festivals attract music lovers ready to party, this event is decidedly family-friendly. Three stages of continuous live music set the tone for the Fiesta Music Festival, which features exhibits, an area for kids and a salsa challenge. Local non-profit organizations operate the food and game booths as part of their yearly fund-raising efforts.
BB Jazz Festival
18000 Goldenwest St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Date: September 12 through 13, 2015
Jazz enthusiasts take over Huntington Beach’s Central Park for two days of cool jazz and R&B. The gates open at 10 a.m. each day. Make sure to bring your own blanket or chair for the general seating area. The vendor village will offer clothes, gifts and other souvenirs for sale. Two-day passes and VIP Parking also are available for the festival.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Steven Bryan calls Irvine, California his home. A freelance writer for more than 20 years, he has interviewed a wide range of notable celebrities, including a variety of up-and-coming musicians and artists as well. Passionate about movies and comic books, he also makes an annual pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic-Con.