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FESTIVAL REVIEW: HIGH TIMES CANNABIS CUP - SO CAL, 5/24 & 5/25

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When Hunnypot Live was asked to cover the 2019 Cannabis Cup here in Southern California, it was an easy yes and quite frankly a match made in heaven.  From our earliest shows in 2005, we’ve always been 420 friendly. Covering High Times events like this seems like a perfect extension of some amazing magic that Hunnypot has been a part of over the years here in the City of Angels.  Similar to Hunnypot, the Cannabis Cup celebrates music, music culture, and of course marijuana.  Their weekend event at the NOS in San Bernardino did just that and pulled it off typical High Times fashion.  High Times pulled out all the stops over the weekend (including  a celebration of the legendary Tommy Chong’s 81st birthday) for what many attendees considered a truly magical event. 

First off, I think High Times did an incredible job improving upon some of the logistical challenges that they faced back in March at their High-Desert event.  The check-in process was simple, streamlined, and user friendly from the moment the doors opened.  Regardless of whether you were general admission, VIP, or Super-VIP, lines to get in the event moved very quickly.  Once inside the NOS grounds, guests found a simple to navigate vendor area that seemed to have significantly more room vs. its Adelanto cousin.  Whether you were purchasing some flower or taking one of many 'sample dabs', attendees appreciated the additional space as it made for a much more inviting experience.  Food offerings were typical of any county fair, and you didn’t have to walk far to find delectable treats such as carne asada fries or a ridiculously large funnel cake and Mt. Dew to wash it all down.  While offerings were fairly limited, most felt the choices available were just enough to satisfy anyone’s ‘post-high’ munchies. 

Now on to the music.  Events like this are amplified significantly with a killer lineup, and this year’s Cannabis Cup delivered in fine form.  Eleven incredible acts graced the High Times stage over the two-day event and left even the most finicky concert connoisseur smiling when the weekend finally came to an end.  Performances by Tory Lanez and Girl Talk were incredible, but my personal favorite over the two-day event was non-other than Southern California rap legend, Ice Cube.   It was a packed house at the NOS as Cube put on a clinic performing close to twenty songs that spanned an illustrious 35-year career in hip-hop.  Newer songs such as “Arrest the President” were mixed in with classics such as “It Was a Good Day” in a concert for the ages under the stars in San Bernardino.  As this was my first-time seeing Ice Cube live, I was truly blown away with his crisp vocals, amazing stage presence, and the love he shared for his fans throughout his near two-hour mega set.  This show was special, and one I won’t soon forget.

Bottom line, the folks over at High Times hit another home run with their latest Cannabis Cup installment here in Southern California.  Fans from all walks of life partied down over the Memorial Day Weekend enjoying some tasty buds, killer food, and a musical lineup took things to a whole new level at the NOS.  In addition, the fellowship and love that attendees shared for one another over the two-day event was unmistakable and a reason many attended in the first place.  The only downside to the weekend was that (as with every good thing), the Cannabis Cup – So Cal 2019 had to come to an end.  Sad as it was, many fans were already finalizing their plans to make their way up to the coast to Sonoma County for the Nor Cal edition on June 1st and 2nd.  I won’t be able to make that one, but if it is anything like this year's So Cal event, it will surely be worth the trip!

Matthew Belter

Editor - Long Beach

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