Over the weekend, BeerX, presented by 91X, celebrated its 3rd anniversary at Waterfront Park in San Diego. The festival featured musical performances from Iration, J Boog, Chicano Batman, Magic!, Trouble In The Wind, and Splavender. Unlimited craft beer tastings from top breweries were available from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Fans who purchased VIP packages had two options to choose from. The first option was for VIP lounge access and early entry to the event so that they could start tasting at 12:00 p.m. The second option added access to a side of the stage viewing platform, which was connected to the main stage. I’ve attended quite a few festivals which offered VIP areas; some were great, while others were not so great. The VIP lounge at BeerX was excellent. There was plenty of room for everyone in the lounge and they had a great view of the stage.
San Diego natives, Splavender and Trouble In The Wind, were the first to perform, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Both bands performed to a small, but encouraging crowd. It’s not easy being the opening act, especially when you’re competing with unlimited craft beer tastings, but both bands put on a great show.
The craft beer tents closed at 4:00 p.m., at which point people promptly lined up at the various concession stands which were serving wine and cocktails in addition to craft beers. While waiting in line to gain, or maintain, their buzz, fans were treated to Magic!’s performance which featured their hits “Rude” and “Gloria”. Magic! performed on day one of the previous weekend’s High & Mighty Festival in Garden Grove.
Next up was Chicano Batman, who came out onto the stage in full suits. I was quite hot by this point in the festival, and was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, so I can only imagine how hot the guys in Chicano Batman must have been. Their set featured “Black Lipstick” and “Cycles of Existential Rhyme”.
J Boog was the second to last act to perform. During their performance, the sun set on the venue and the crowd settled in for the remainder of the evening. J Boog’s relaxing reggae/hip-hop allowed everyone to unwind and temporarily forget about their problems. The sound and musical style were timed perfectly for the event.
Iration headlined BeerX, and began their performance shortly after 8:00 p.m. Iration sounded great, and their lighting effects looked really good, however, the stage as a whole was quite dark for their first few songs. At times, there was almost no light on the members of Iration, which made it very difficult for fans to see them on stage. This also made photographing them a challenge at times.
This was the 3rd annual BeerX festival, however, it was my first time attending. I attended the High & Mighty Festival the previous weekend, and between the two festivals I preferred BeerX. BeerX offered more craft beer tastings, food pairing demos, and the day didn’t seem quite as long. However, the tasting lines at BeerX were much more crowded than at the High & Mighty Festival. This may have been the result of the High & Mighty Festival spanning two days, the way the tasting areas were set up, or simply due to the number of available tastings. Regardless, I had a great time at BeerX and I am looking forward to its return next year.
– Martin Shook
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All photos by: Martin Shook