Oysterfest San Diego

By Rebecca Gonzales

Photos by Brian Sweeney

IG: @sparked_interest_photography

San Diego Oysterfest is a concert series that brings amazing live music performances to the breathtaking bayside setting of Marina Embarcadero North. This year’s lineup included headliner Matisyahu, with additional performances by MAGIC!, DāM-FunK, Vokab Kompany, Josh Heinrichs and Janelle Phillips. Friday’s lineup included performances by Ghostland Observatory, Rocket From The Crypt, Dance Yourself Clean, The Shelters, and The Verigolds. In addition to the musical lineup, there were also vendors available offering an array of beer, fresh oysters, other foods and, full bars. There was a spirited “shuck and suck” contest, various DJs, great sponsor booths,  that included Sierra Nevada, SanDiegoVille.com, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Villa Maria Winery from New Zealand, Azunia Tequila, and Single Fin Surf and Grill. There was also a Vavi play area and live art show.

Unfortunately, Gordon Ramsey was a ”no show.” Fans were deservedly pissed, and the announcer live streamed a “F*** you” crowd participation rally cry on Facebook. Aside from the Ramsey debacle, festival goers “My First Oyster Booth” provided first timers a lesson on how to shuck oysters without cutting your fingers off. There was also an Oyster Shucking Exhibit, dedicated to art comprised entirely of oyster shells.

The crowd mirrored the diversity of the lineup, and was thankfully 21 and over. Magic came second to last and showed the collective range of the band, regarding overall musical talent, ability, and showmanship. Every song required crowd participation. The energy was as intoxicating as the seaport surroundings.

Matisyahu took the stage next and people were converted to fans immediately. He completely captivated an otherwise restless, rowdy crowd, and made them hang on every effortless note. The band members were equally as talented, and gave epic performances. The music lifted his vocals into the night and trapped all there with him until the very end. The last two performances validated the ticket cost. Overall, Oysterfest was a fun adult festival with lots of talented bands and good looking people. Two thumbs up, for sure.