OC has long been a bastion for country music, though you’d be hard pressed these days to find a place on the map that isn’t. Today, stars like Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and Carrie Underwood are basically the new radio rock stars, taking up the mantle of the FM icons that made us praise guitar music. But when was the last time you went out on a Saturday night to party at a club that actually catered to country?
For Lauren Boquette, the best party since the genre reinvented itself has been going to Stagecoach in Indio and getting a proper dose of the 21st century sound and scene.
“When I’m there I’m like this is a rock-n-roll party. This isn’t country, this isn’t what people think country is. This is tailgating, beer bongs and Van Halen. This might as well be a Van Halen party. And I realized that in Orange County, there’s a ton of people who are into that and there’s nowhere to go,” he says.
And of course what OC country night is able to take advantage of local beaches? For Boquette, a lifetime metal head and convert to contemporary country music, it made sense to create an event that catered to that in no uncertain terms, starting with the name—Boots and Bikinis.
This Saturday March 25, the weekly, all-ages country club night rolls into the Baja Beach Cafe in Newport Beach for a full day of country friendly beach music from 4p.m. to 2 a.m. featuring live bands DJ and music videos providing you a taste of Stagecoach that Boquette looks forward to every year. The idea he says, makes about as much sense as every country star you see wearing board shorts and flip flops soaking in the sun during their music videos.
“Dierks Bentley has a song that says somewhere on a beach sipping something strong,” Boquette says. “That’s what we do around here.”
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The entertainment for the weekly event gives local country and southern rock bands a place to play as well as any artist that falls under the umbrella of good time beach music. The opening weekend on Saturday is headlined by Wheeland Brothers who play at 9 p.m. for a moonlit, island rock rager.
Boquette, who is also Wheeland Brothers’ manager, got the idea for Boots and Bikinis after taking the band on a tour stop to the Virgin Islands and experiencing their weekend daytime beach parties. Returning to OC, he enlisted the help of Baja Beach Cafe’s GM Josh Sobotik, who agreed to let him use his bar in Newport, which is properly zoned for the kind of event he wants to put on—a loose, tailgating backyard beach party right on PCH that will tide you over till April when you make the trip out to Indio again this year.
“I’m happy to create something that’s different, for people who look forward to going to Stagecoach every year, now they can have that same kind of a party every Saturday night and not have to wait a year to experience that again.”
For more info on Boots and Bikinis this Saturday at Baja Beach Cafe March 25 featuring the Wheeland Brothers, click here.