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Guest Opinion, Anthony Small

This Friday through Sunday, September 27-29, Ohana Festival returns for the fourth year in a row to Doheny State Beach, a place host Eddie Vedder himself has referred to as hallowed ground.

The world-class lineup includes headlining sets by The Strokes, Eddie Vedder and Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as an amazingly diverse lineup that includes Tash Sultana, Incubus, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, to name just a few. The great news is additional tickets have been released for the previously announced sold-out weekend shows.

In an interview with “Dana Point ROCKS” last year, Vedder shared this about the origins of Ohana: “I believe the idea was simply this: where can we set up a stage or two as close to the beach as possible? After months of research, the answer came back: Doheny. This was stunning news to me, as Doheny was the spot where I caught my first waves as a kid. I had carried so many indelible memories of being 9-10 years old out there. Buying eight feet of bungee cord from Jack’s Surf Shop to fashion a leash . . . those cords came whipping back. It really came flooding back to me that day before the first show.”

This year, concertgoers will also have a unique opportunity to be inspired by a collection of pro surfers, conservationists, artists, sustainability leaders and National Geographic photographers on the expanded Storytellers Stage presented by Zippo in the COVE at Ohana. Music Preserves Foundation will kick it all off Friday afternoon with a discussion about the importance of music history and arts education and an interview with the world-renowned artist Wyland about his project, Blues Planet, which utilized music to raise awareness about the Gulf Oil Spill. Fresh off the re-dedication ceremony of his Whaling Wall #1 last week in Laguna Beach, Wyland Galleries also hosted an Ohana Storytellers Artist Exhibit this week, featuring works by OG Slick, Jeffro Uitto, Strati Hovartos and others. Music Preserves will also have the honor of introducing the musical artists on the Storytellers Stage, including Bobby Alt, Soundflowers, John Cragie, Aquadolls and Tim Curran, and we are planning to take local high school music students backstage on Sunday to meet Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.

Photo: Artist Wyland (left) will join the Storytellers Stage with Music Preserves’ Anthony Small (right) on Friday, Sept. 27 at Ohana Festival. Photo: Courtesy of Anthony Small

For more information and tickets, please go to

Music Preserves Foundation is launching a music and cultural history program in the Capistrano Unified School District on Oct. 4 at Wood Canyon Elementary School in Aliso Viejo. The ten-module curriculum traces the history of American music from its roots in slavery through the development of blues and jazz and continues with the creation of early rock and roll through soul music, California country and rap. The lessons teach students about music and American history from the perspective of the diverse creators of America’s art forms. More info at

Thank you to the County of Orange and ACE Agency for their amazing OC Parks Summer Concert Series finale, which featured the band Lit, which rocked the crowd at Salt Creek on Thursday, August 29. This event was yet another fine example of Dana Point’s strong musical identity and continued emergence as a true music destination.

Our community came out in full force to attend the ribbon-cutting for the Bruce Brown statue in Watermen’s Plaza on Thursday, September 19. Dana Brown said, “It was a special honor to be recognized by the City of Dana Point while surrounded by friends and family.” The Endless Summer, indeed.

Please support the South Orange County School of the Arts at their Fall Choir Concert, Oct. 16 and at their play, Steel Magnolias, on Oct. 23-26.  All at 7 p.m. in the Porthole Theatre, Dana Hills High School. Tickets available at

Anthony Small is the Executive Director of Music Preserves Foundation, Chairman of the City of Dana Point Arts and Culture Commission and a singer-songwriter. Small and his family have lived in Dana Point for 22 years.

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comments (1)

  • Just another example of disturbing the peace in Dana Point. This so-called concert, like most recently, is loud and obnoxious into the night. The bass virtually shakes the house and I am at least half a mile from the site. Doheny State Park is not a good neighbor.

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