Shabang is back! SLO County music festival to return ‘bigger than ever’ after COVID hiatus

·2 min read

After a two-year hiatus, Shabang Live Music and Arts Festival will return to San Luis Obispo this spring.

According to a news release Thursday, the annual music festival, which was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, is scheduled to take place on May 13 and 14 at Laguna Lake Park.

This year’s festival — which according to the release will be “bigger than ever” — will feature four stages, more than 50 musical acts, a silent disco (where people wearing headphones listen to the same music), a funk safari, art exhibits, movement classes, non-musical performers, local food and more.

It will also be the first time in the festival’s eight-year history that the event is held over two days, according to the release.

A guitarist performs at Shabang. The homegrown music festival returns to Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo in May 2021.
A guitarist performs at Shabang. The homegrown music festival returns to Laguna Lake Park in San Luis Obispo in May 2021.

“Shabang still embodies what it stood for in the beginning: pure bliss from live music, art, and the beautiful scenery of the Central Coast,” Cofounder Greg Golf said in the release. “Now, we’ve just turned it up a couple hundred notches to create the most electrifying music festival experience the Central Coast has ever seen.”

Golf previously said that he and several friends founded the music festival in 2014 while studying at Cal Poly.

“We decided we should have one last shebang to round out the year,” Golf told The Tribune in a 2017 article.

That “one last shebang” grew from a mini-concert with between 30 and 40 people in attendance to a twice-yearly music festival with upwards of 3,000 attendees.

In March 2020, organizers canceled the Shabang festival that was scheduled for May amid the growing coronavirus pandemic; organizers said they planned to return in 2021.

But by spring of 2021, it was still “too soon for a safe festival, according to San Luis Obispo County, the health department and our core team,” organizers said in a statement on Instagram.

“However, we do see the light at the end of the tunnel and are currently using this time to reimagine and redefine what is possible at Shabang Music Festival,” they wrote.

Organizers have not announced the lineup for this year’s festival as of Thursday.

Early bird tickets will be available at starting Jan. 25, and will cost $40 for Friday, $60 for Saturday and $100 for a two-day pass.

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