Long Beach, California.
You’d think that after two straight weekends of Coachella, Goldenvoice would chill out for a bit. That was not the case. In addition to following up the Coachella weekends with Stagecoach, they also hosted The Smokers Club Festival at the Queen Mary concert grounds in Long Beach, CA. This marked the second annual Smokers Club Festival and this year it was expanded from the inaugural one-day event to a two-day event.
Smokers Club is the most recent festival to fill the void left behind by the termination of iconic Southern California hip hop festivals like Rock The Bells and Paid Dues. With over 40 acts on the lineup, festival-goers were given a chance to see a variety of hip-hop acts, a healthy mix of up-and-comers and legends in the rap game.
The festival grounds were abundant with food options and the crowd flow felt easy while traveling from stage to stage. Appropriately named, Smokers Club was like a festival catered to marijuana and music; sponsors like West Coast Cure and Power 106 made this clear. The venue was perfect for the event – open air and spacey. Concert-goers were also blessed with beautiful weather while the Queen Mary ship served as the perfect backdrop for the festival.
Saturday’s line up included 2 Chainz, Lil Pump, Schoolboy Q, Wiz Khalifa, and more.
An area of concern came when an event DJ announced that fan-favorite Trippie Redd wasn’t able to make it out to his set time. The crowd replied with discontent until the event DJ announced that Young Thug would take his place. Though the people were shocked, it’s safe to say they were satisfied. This quick replacement showed the professionalism of Smokers Club and really gave the new festival credibility, as many other festivals would not have replaced those empty sets. That really left a lasting impression on me. With how they handled that situation, I really feel that they want to and will make this festival as successful as possible in the upcoming years.
Saturday’s headliner Wiz Khalifa fittingly performed Kush & OJ, his classic 2010 mixtape. Khalifa even brought out Big Sean who commended Khalifa saying, “I remember me and him messaging each other on myspace in the myspace days…real ones connected.” Sean also took it back to his mixtape days, performing “Supa Dupa”. Khalifa provided good vibes and felt like the most appropriate artist to headline a weed-themed music festival.
Sunday’s lineup comprised of artists like Juicy J, A.Chal, Flatbush Zombies, Isaiah Rashad, Ty Dolla $ign, and Mac Miller.
The grand finale was the most anticipated performance of the weekend, the Rager, Kid Cudi. Many times, I heard people in the audience profess their gratitude towards Cudi with phrases like “Cudi, you saved my life!” and “Cudi, we love you!” He gave words of wisdom to the audience, “We live in a very weird time, a very strange time. Stand up for what you believe in, be good to each other.. LOVE!” His set felt very nostalgic as he perused through his catalog, choosing highlight tracks from each of his standout projects. It was amazing to see an artist who has affected so many people’s lives change their lives once more, in person.
This year’s Smokers Club Festival was an incredible two days and it seems like a festival that will be here for a while.