After a two-year wait, the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival is back in San Diego.
The three-day event brings together over 80 musical artists to perform on more than seven stages at venues along the Embarcadero. The festival will also have food and drinks, like craft beers and wines, from vendors across the county. Wonderfront runs from Friday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, Nov. 20.
The solo star and No Doubt co-founder headlines the three-day event on Sunday. Kings of Leon and Zac Brown Band are this weekend’s other headliners
Launched in 2019, festival organizers were forced to cancel the event for the past few years due to COVID-19. In an effort to keep the music going during the pandemic, Wonderfront’s co-founder Ernie Hahn organized an initiative called the Wonderbus, a double-decker bus that moved throughout San Diego with musicians playing live music on the roof.
Now back for its second year, Wonderfront seems eager to prove, yet again, that San Diego is an ideal location for a music festival. Here are ten things to know about the event, whether you already have a ticket or are thinking about going.
What is the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival?
The purpose of the festival is to highlight emerging talent in the music industry while also hosting longtime favorites and local artists. Attendees have a chance to hear music from many genres, including rock, indie rock, hip-hop, rap, EDM, adult alternative, reggae, Americana and country. Some of the event’s revenue goes toward local charities to help underprivileged youth as well as to environmental groups like Outdoor Outreach and the Rob Machado Foundation.
After completing 25 years as the arena’s general manager, he is focusing on his three-day bayside festival, which returns in November, and new company, Dream Hahn
Who will be performing?
There will be 80 artists at the festival, including Gwen Stefani, Young the Giant, the Zac Brown Band, Kings of Leon, G-Easy, Cage the Elephant, Lauren Daigle, Swae Lee, Quinn XCII, Fitz & the Tantrums, Thundercat and Noah Cyrus. The full lineup can be found here.
Where it is located?
The festival is held at the waterfront parks, along the piers and on the boats near Seaport Village. You can find a map to the festival here. With unlimited re-entry to the festival and easy access to downtown San Diego’s nightlife, restaurants and bars, guests are encouraged to head outside the venue gates and explore the surrounding area.
How do I purchase tickets?
Tickets can be purchased on the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival website. They are currently available for one and three-day passes with prices starting at $139. You are unable to purchase tickets for individual performances but be sure to check out the schedule of events on the website to decide on which artists you want to see.
Seaport Village is pretty spread out. How will I get around the festival?
The festival is partnering with Flagship Cruises and Events to host harbor cruises, including on a yacht that will host local musicians’ shows. But they will also have water taxis, like a 400-person booze cruise “party shuttle” as well as other faster water shuttles, to get attendees from the north and south stages of the festival. The shuttle service is free for those with festival passes and will make stops at the Broadway Pier, San Diego Marriott Marquis marina and Fifth Avenue Landing.
Will there be food and drinks?
Beyond the music, the festival will host food and drinks from San Diego vendors. There will be a food hall, food trucks, street food vendors as well as waterfront dining for an elevated experience. The festival will also have a craft beer village with local brews on tap. You can also book a cocktail or dinner cruise online now.
What else can I do at the festival?
Check out the game zone with activities like soccer Caño Cages, corn hole, washers, Spikeball and pingpong. You can also rent water craft, like stand-up paddle boards, wave runners and kayaks from Seaforth Rentals. Wonderfront is offering a 15 percent discount on these rentals, as well as a discount on trolley tours and sea and land boat tours. Looking for a more laid-back experience? There will be a silent disco to attend and art installations from local creators on the festival grounds too.
What if I can’t afford to purchase tickets?
Wonderfront will set up a free community stage for performances throughout the weekend. The venue, located at Ruocco Park (585 Harbor Lane), will be open to the general public, as well as ticket holders on Friday from 2:30 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
Will there be any events before or after the festival?
The Music Box, a three-story concert venue in downtown San Diego, will host a pre-party and an after-party. The pre-party will feature a performance from electronic musician The Polish Ambassador on Thursday, Nov. 17, with the afterparty on Nov. 19 hosting music from Whethan, a DJ, and electronic artist Kaipora. Tickets can be purchased on the festival’s website or at musicboxsd.com.
How else can I get hyped for the festival?
If you want to start listening to the music before the festival, head over to the event’s Spotify playlists, which include music from this year’s lineup as well as from the 2019 festival.