5 Reasons Why Just Like Heaven Fest Was Truly a Music Festival-Lover's Paradise
There are people who love Coachella—and there are people who love music festivals.
Just Like Heaven Fest, a two-day experience, held at the Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, California, happened this past Friday and Saturday. It lacked many of the frills, fashion and Instagrammable photo ops of Coachella, but that's kind of what made it so great. It was truly all about the music (along with some yummy food), and there was an instant connection you felt with all of the attendees. People were so excited to go that Goldenvoice (also the event producer of Coachella) added the second day, as tickets sold out almost instantly.
I initially planned to go to the festival alone because I knew I could just enjoy the music and wander, but last minute, I bought my best friend a ticket for his birthday—and it was worth it, because the experience was that much more enjoyable spent with someone special, who would appreciate the performers as much as me.
Below are the five reasons why Just Like Heaven was truly a music festival-lover's paradise:
It Was a Curated Experience
Unlike most music festivals, pretty much everyone was a "bold-faced name" on this lineup. The artists were all from a very specific time, with peak popularity around 2009-2012, appealing to a very particular audience. The acts—which included Neon Indian, Miike Snow, MGMT, Washed Out, The Rapture, Passion Pit, Miami Horror and a DJ set by RAC—were scattered all throughout the day, with a few bigger names taking the stage pretty early on.
The artists reminded me of an era when music felt truly special; it was from before Spotify's New Music Friday made an array of music so accessible. Spotify has been great for discovering new music, but, at the same time, there was a novelty to finding artists in strange places or hearing a once-unknown song at a place and forever associating it with the location or memory.
Everything Was Easy
Although getting to Long Beach took us two hours, once we got to the festival grounds, everything was a cinch. I was nervous about the shuttle we had to take, but there was no wait, and it was a short ride. As soon as we got to the grounds, check-in was a breeze. The merch stand and some of the food spots had long lines, but depending on who was performing, you could easily find them shortened. Additionally, there were only two stages, so finding your way around and making it back and forth was easy as can be.
The Crowd Was Super Chill
From the festival-goers to the vendors selling food, merch and beverages, everyone was chill. As I noted above, it was much less of an Instagrammable madhouse and so much more of a musical experience. Having my best friend with me was icing on the cake, and we even ran into my kindergarten crush (wow!). Even when the biggest acts performed, nothing felt overcrowded, and people actually said "excuse me" when they accidentally got in your way. It felt special being in the company of all people who shared this specific music interest, unlike at other festivals where artists totally range.
There Was a View of the Ocean
While the venue itself was a large lot, its surroundings were beautiful. You could see the huge Queen Mary ship on one side, and then the ocean and skyscrapers from another. At night, the lights added the perfect touch to the event.
The Lineup Was the Same Both Days
The festival began at noon, making it pretty difficult to get there right when it started. I didn't anticipate so much traffic, so I got there a little later than planned. Luckily, the lineup was the same the following day, making it so much easier for attendees to catch who they missed the day before, or see their faves a second time. I've never been to a festival like that, and it was great thinking (I guess it's because they hadn't originally planned to make the festival both days). Speaking of the lineup, can we talk about the event logo for a sec? It's probably the cutest logo and concept I've witnessed. Of course I bought a sweatshirt.
Headed to a music festival in the near future? You'll want to use THESE Instagram captions to capture your experience!