Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by 

Roughly sixty miles down the coast (and a world away) from LAX lies Doheny State Beach.  Located in beautiful Dana Point, CA and visited by nearly 1,000,000 beachgoers each year, Doheny is a world-renowned surf break, made famous (in part) by the Beach Boys hit “Surfin’ USA.”   It has also been the longtime home of the Doheny Blues Festival, which relocated a short way up the coast this year following a twenty-year run at its namesake location. 

Coincidentally, this idyllic beach is the exact spot where avid surfer, waterman and Ohana Festival organizer Eddie Vedder first hit the waves, igniting a lifelong passion for our oceans and their health.  In 2016, Doheny became home to the Ohana Music Festival.  As fans of Pearl Jam well know, the band’s front man and the ocean have always been inextricably intertwined.  This event is an extension of that relationship.  (Vedder has famously stated that it would probably take a six-hour concert to cover all of Pearl Jam’s “ocean songs,” which seems pretty accurate to me!)  The Ohana Festival, now celebrating its third anniversary, was conceived with the goal of raising money for ocean related charities. It has succeeded in that regard, raising and contributing six-figure sums to the San Onofre Parks Foundation, an entity which works to preserve and protect California’s coastal parks and beach access.

Vedder, along with his friend and Ohana Festival collaborator Kelly Slater, (the professional surfing phenom), envisioned a music festival with stages located as close to Pacific Ocean waves as possible.  This year’s surf festival featured three days of music, a family-friendly atmosphere (Ohana translates to “family” in Hawaiian language and culture, after-all), games, presentations, and ocean centric activities for children and adults alike.  Artisan food supplied by local restaurants and food trucks, craft beers, signature cocktails, art installations and first-class musical talent attracted 40,000 attendees to the beach this year.  Past iterations of Ohana featured standouts such as Vedder, Elvis Costello, Lana Del Rey, Social Distortion, and Jack Johnson.  The star wattage didn’t dim this year, with a lineup that included Beck, Mumford and Sons, Eric Church, Norah Jones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many others.  Vedder made several surprise appearances throughout the weekend to jam with various bands.  During his closing set on Saturday, he was joined onstage by Liz Phair, who accompanied him on Pearl Jam’s “Better Man.”

While 40,000 concert attendees packed onto to a relatively small beach area over three sun filled days might sound like a nightmare in the making, Doheny State Beach absorbed the masses effortlessly.  Lines for food, beer and bathrooms were, save for the women’s bathrooms of course, quite short.  There was plenty of space, shade, and seating.  The family-friendly vibe was mellow throughout the weekend despite the copious amounts of alcohol being consumed in the hot sun.  Due partly to the anniversary of the attack in Las Vegas, the Sheriff was onsite in serious force, but I never witnessed them doing anything more than mingling with the crowd.  The masses were so well behaved that a deputy I queried regarding arrests hadn’t heard of a single one all weekend!  While that is hard to believe, one can hope!  I did hear of one attendee that hoped to ditch the crowds for a little respite: Eddie Vedder planned to catch some of the music while surfing the Doheny waves that introduced him to the sport.  The surf gods must have taken note, as surf reports were predicting a large swell with overhead sets hitting the coast by Sunday.  Surf’s up!  The perfect addition to a music festival on the beach, organized by famous surfers and designed to raise money for our oceans.  Enjoy, Mr. Vedder!  And thank you!!! 


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Twitter