This weekend the second annual First City Festival in Monterey will kick off at the Monterey Fairgrounds, the location of what is largely considered the first major rock music festival in the U.S. – 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival. It’s also the fest where Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin first became international pop stars.
This year’s festival line-up, like last year’s, is packed solid with popular and talented artists and bands, including Beck, The National, Phantogram, Blind Pilot, Cults, Dawes, Liars, Geographer, Tokyo Police Club, Best Coast, Miniature Tigers, Future Islands, Cocorosie, Midlake, Lo-Fang, Sleepy Sun, The Naked & Famous, The Men, Cool Ghouls, among others.
The array of artists is guaranteed to attract a diverse crowd of music lovers seeking indie rock, alternative, folk, pop, techo, and dance. The fairgrounds are comprised of four stages with two large stages at opposite ends of the venue, where the headlining artists will be performing, during which time the smaller third and fourth stages will remain silent so that there is no overlapping.
The festival grounds offer a big benefit that music fans won’t find at any other music festival that we know – an authentic, full-fledged carnival that harkens back to yesteryear, featuring classic canrinval rides like the Zipper and The Scooter, specialty amusement rides like the Haunted House and Mardi Gras, a huge ferris wheel and the Fun Slide. Festival goers have full access to the existing carnival grounds, entertainment, food vendors and of course the rides. This year, festival ticket holders have access to unlimited free rides.
The premiere of the First City Festival last summer was considered a resounding success for the debut of a little-known festival thanks in part to performances from big acts like Passion Pit, MGMT, Beach House, Modest Mouse, Neko Case, and Toro Y Moi.
The two-day music spectacular featured a continuous stream of talented and popular acts that read like a who’s who of alternative and indie rock, folk and pop artists and bands, including The Black Angles, Washed Out, Okkervil River, Dr. Dog, Deerhunter, The Dodos, Akron/Family, The Antlers, Generationals, Purity Ring, Lucero, Devendra Banhart, Capital Cities, Father John Misty, Blitzen Trapper, The Hold Steady, Ernest Greene, Tennis, Guards and many others.
Compared to the much larger and well-known music festival in San Francisco, the Outside Lands Festival that took place earlier in the month, First City is a smaller, more intimate and less chaotic affair, and it is also a much more decidely indie and alternative music festival than Outside Lands as well. The event is organized and managed by Golden Voice productions.