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Ohana Music Festival will return to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point from Sept. 28-30. Photo: File.

By Rachael Mattice

Whether you enjoy two-stepping, jiving, break dancing, headbanging or just grooving, there is bound to be a festival, concert or gig that music lovers can move with the audio flow to this summer in South Orange County.

Here are a few of the top picks for any kind of style, budget or vibe.

Festival Season

Festival season is upon us and traveling to Europe or the Coachella Valley isn’t necessary to experience the all-encompassing festivities.

San Clemente Fiesta Music Festival returns on Sunday, Aug. 12 and will take over Avenida Del Mar for a full day of free live music, salsa and food contests, a motorcycle show, action sports exhibitions, and art displays. Bands such as Tunnel Vision, The Roney Boys and Bad Hombres tore up the stages last year. This year for the 65th anniversary, festival goers can expect the same high-energy, beach-style event filled with music and shenanigans. Learn more about the festival at

Returning for its third year is Ohana Music Festival at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point from Sept. 28 – Sept. 30. The ocean-view backdrop, taco bars, acai bowl stations and local brew vendors all but add to the experience to correspond with the sets of Eric Church, Eddie Vedder, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liz Phair, Mumford & Sons and Beck. Ticket prices start at $99.75, but fortunately, the September dates give festival goers plenty of time to save up. Visit for more information.

Small Venue

Movers and groovers looking for more traditional one-off concerts can always turn to The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano for a variety of entertainment. In addition to comedy nights, local artists and benefit shows, old-school metalheads can mosh for a night with Geoff Tate on Friday, Aug. 10, famously known as the former vocalist for progressive metal band Queensryche.

The Coach House is going to welcome Justin Hayward on Friday, Sept. 7, or as others know him, the guitarist and vocalist for British rock band The Moody Blues.

To see the full summer schedule and calendar at The Coach House, visit

Iron Butterfly. Photo: Courtesy of James R. Goddard

Free Shows

South Orange County residents are blessed with the close proximity to L.A.’s music mecca, offering ample opportunities for well-known artists and quality musicians to add pit-stops in the tri-city area on their larger tours. Such is the case for Dana Point’s opening Summer Concert Series show at Sea Terrance Park with psychedelic rock band Iron Butterfly on Sunday, July 8. See a full roster of summer concerts at

Dana Point continues ruling the music landscape with a performance by The White Buffalo at Salt Creek Beach on Thursday, Aug. 16. A punk-turned-country-influenced musician, The White Buffalo’s Jake Smith has seen a lot of success in the last handful of years and brought gritty Americana into mainstream airwaves. To listen to the discography and see all upcoming tour dates for The White Buffalo, visit

Wake up all of the senses and make summertime memories while next to one of South Orange County’s most iconic structures—the San Clemente Pier. The city will host its annual Beach Concert Series on select Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., commencing with Flashback Heart Attack on Thursday, June 21. Take a look at the rest of the San Clemente schedule:

  • Tuesday, July 12: Kelly Boyz at Linda Lane Park
  • Tuesday, July 26 – Wigs & Ties at the Pier
  • Thursday, Aug. 16 – Wheeland Brothers at the Pier
  • Thursday, Aug. 30 – Tunnel Vision at the Pier

For more information, visit

The White Buffalo. Photo: Courtesy

In addition to the local festivals and outdoor concerts, South Orange County residents and their visitors can simply stroll through San Clemente, Dana Point or San Juan Capistrano and will stumble across multiple local eateries and bars with live music on a nightly or weekly basis.

 To read more of the 2018 summer Go.See.Do. special section, click HERE:

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