Grab your favorite sneakers, practice your dance moves and prepare your appetite for a weekend filled with music and food.
Music Tastes Good is a two-day event in downtown Long Beach that brings together entertainment, culinary creations, and people. From exchanging social media handles with festival attendees to discovering new bands to add to your Spotify playlist, this festival digs into the concept of importing and exporting culture through taste and music.
“There is a concept of import and export,” said Music Tastes Good’s managing director Meagan Blome. “We are one of the busiest port cities in the nation and with the food, have a concept of [exploring various flavors] from port cities.”
Chefs from all over the West Coast, from Baja to Vancouver, will be preparing culinary samples for the foodies this weekend in the taste tent. In previous years, festival attendees were required to purchase an all-inclusive food experience, but this year, anyone could walk into the tent and indulge in various foods.
“Now, everyone enjoys the taste experience,” Blome said. “All these great chefs are coming out to prepare some really awesome dishes, and the idea is to try as many small bites as you can.”
Local chefs from Roe, Panxa Cocina, Ellie’s, Long Beach Creamery, Under the Sun, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine and The Social List will be participating at the taste tent. There will be eight chefs available each day for a total of 16 different chefs.
“This is a way for us to bring tasting and culture, and all these amazing national acts and international bands to play in our backyard,” Blome said. “People from Long Beach don’t have to drive to Los Angeles or Orange County to see them, and we can also bring those outside of the city into our community.”
The festival is organized by a group of Long Beach locals, each with different experiences and taste buds allowing them to curate an eclectic two-day event. The first installment of Music Tastes Good debuted in 2016 taking place in the middle of downtown.
“We loved being in the streets and it was a really first year amazing experience,” Blome said. “It was part of Joshua Fischel’s vision.”
Joshua Fischel, creator and mastermind of Music Tastes Good, passed away shortly after the first annual event due to complications with liver disease.
“In the wake of Josh’s passing, we came together,” she said. “We assembled this really great team to work on Music Tastes Good, so in his absence, we continued to strive for that legacy of eclecticism and the team he brought together.”
Since its first year, the festival changed locations and is now held at Marina Green Park next to Shoreline Village and the Long Beach Convention Center. On the north side, there is a great cityscape showcasing many office buildings with a waterfront view in the opposite direction.
“It shows Long Beach as an urban beach,” Blome said.
At Marina Green Park, the festival’s crew starts set-up a week before the event, whereas on the streets, they had to rush the night before. Each day, the event is expected to get close to its 10,000 person capacity.
The event also changed from being three days to only two days after realizing it is a local event, not a weekend getaway that requires an overnight stay like other festivals.
“It’s the start of fall, end of the summer festival season, back to school, back to work,” she said. “[Instead] having a two-day festival that ends each night at 10 p.m. packed with as much as we can, let’s people go home early.”
After listening to feedback from previous attendees, the festival downsized to two stages, instead of three and four stages like in the previous years.
“Every year [we are] listening to the community and wanting to create something for them to really enjoy,” she said. “We are still young and new, and figuring out the best combination of everything to make it the best experience it can be.”
Regardless of the festival evolving, attendees can expect to have a similar vibe to previous years.
At this weekend’s festival, New Order, one of the headliners, will be playing on Saturday night after not having played in Los Angeles for over a year. Other headliners include Joey Bada$$, James Blake and Janelle Monae.
To purchase your tickets for this weekend’s music and culinary getaway, visit https://mtglb.co/.