Following last year’s show at Irvine Meadows, the members of Sublime with Rome and Dirty Heads each agreed that they wanted to do another show together. With no amphitheater around for the foreseeable future, the two bands decided to take matters into their own hands. Instead of performing a traditional co-headlining show, the longtime pals decided to start their High & Mighty Festival.
Taking place the weekend of August 5 at Village Green Park in Garden Grove, the new event is slated to have big names on its inaugural lineup. Celebrating the roots reggae, rock and hip hop scene that intersects in their sound, the both bands enlisted acts like Jurassic 5, Murs, Tech N9ne, Chief Keef, Soja and Stick Figure to join them.
“Rather than just doing a normal show — this is home — we started reaching out to our friends and people we met on the road and put on a two-day thing,” Dirty Heads singer Jared Watson says. “Let’s do something special for Orange County.”
Sharing a manager in Mike “Cheez” Brown didn’t hurt either. Having known Rome Ramirez prior to joining with his bandmates, their history made for a seamless partnership.
In order to differentiate itself from the glut of festivals currently in the Southern California market, Watson says the name of the event isn’t just phrasing. Instead, it refers to both bands’ acceptance of marijuana culture.
“There’s always festivals,” the singer says. “There’s tons of them. So how do we make it different? We like good music, we like food, and we like weed. So we got our three favorite things together for this event.”
Having played at a number of festivals over the years, both bands drew upon their experiences at other festivals — most notably at Musink and Bottlerock, along with the assistance of their management and co-producers SGE to package their vision into a tangible event. In addition to the music, fans will have the opportunity to peruse the grounds that have carnival games, an extensive area for vendors, and of course, a slew of local breweries on-hand. To entice fans to get to the grounds a bit early, High & Mighty will feature complimentary beer tastings until 4 p.m.
Watson says promoting the smaller vendors who support the mission of the festival and the culture that goes beyond stereotypes.
“For me, to go an expose these companies that are not only making good products, but good products that are helping people, and get rid of that stigma, and stuff like that,” he says. “When you have a festival and you put weed out there, people get weird. We want that wall to be broken down.”
Another aspect that appealed to each band was the cozy confines of Village Green Park. Rather than squeezing in as many fans as possible, all parties involved agreed that the environment should be comfortable instead of compact.
High & Mighty may be in its first year, but Watson says that there are already plans to keep it going. He’s hoping to enlist a slew of friends to hop on the bill, with plans for them and Sublime With Rome to alternate headlining every other year. But, the idea to do something special locally is something that both bands wanted to join order to give fans an experience that’s more expansive than their usual sets.
“We wanted this to be cool and different,” the Dirty Heads frontman says. “We hope it grows, and wanted it to be cooler than playing with one or two other bands it being just another home show. I see it growing into something cool, and very unique for our Orange County fans.”
KLOS Presents the High and Mighty Festival featuring Sublime with Rome, the Dirty Heads, Jurassic 5, Tech9 and more at Village Green Park, 12732 Main St., Garden Grove, Aug. 5-6, 1-9 p.m. $49-$299, all ages. For more info, click here.
Daniel Kohn is a writer based in Southern California. With bylines in an assortment of outlets, Kohn primarily specializes in music with other interests ranging from sports to food. As a transplant, Kohn loves the beautiful weather and is glad he no longer has to deal with brutal winters. If you see him, say hi and of course, he’s always willing to down a beer or two…if you’re paying.