2024 Wonderfront Festival Sunday May 12, 2024 - Photo by Alex Matthews

Wonderfront Music Festival 2024 was a wicked good time by the sea

What better place to hold an outdoor music festival then a location like San Diego with both the city and the sea around you.

The Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival 2024 featured eight stages of musical acts performing along the water and in Seaport Village. The lineup this year was truly diverse with veteran favorites like Weezer, Beck, The Roots, and Steel Pulse all drawing huge crowds. Emerging breakout artists like Q, Paris Texas, Samm Henshaw, and Abby Anderson played at the smaller stages alongside new sensations like Kaytranada and Channel Tres. Some of the crowd favorites included Carly Rae Jepsen, T-Pain, Milky Chance, Marcus King, Dayglow, Natasha Bedingfield, and Bakar.  A true highlight of the festival was an appearance by Florida rapper Dominic Fike who drew one of the largest and most passionate crowds of the weekend on Saturday afternoon at the Deep Eddy (Ocean) Stage.

With T Pain and Weezer being the main headliners for Friday night, the weekend started off on an interesting wavelength of nostalgia.

T Pain sang true to his noteworthy auto tune voice with classic songs like “Love in This Club” or “I’m in Love With a Stripper.” His performance indeed struck a chord with the masses, who flocked to his set, causing delays in entry beforehand.  Before T Pain came Dj sets by the artists Meridian and Surf Mesa who had the crowd raving in the middle of the afternoon. A classic set by the band Phony Ppl brought people back to their roots. One audience member marinating in the music described how she used to vibe to them all of the time when she was once 16. And then another artist we caught was the rapper Healy who didn’t hesitate playing some of his noteworthy hip hop jams like the song “Reckless” and “Nikes On.”

Saturday focused on more rap and hop hop artists, showcasing Wonderfront’s unique strategy of showcasing a different genre for each day, and emphasizing single-day tickets.

Action Bronson and the singer from Florida, Q, highlighted the stage in the front of the fest in the heat of it all. Q took the crowd away with classics like “Take Me Where Your Heart  Is” and “Lavender.” His dreamy falsetto and soft tender lyrics swept up the crow in the nostalgic feeling of young love.

Immediately following Q was the immaculate Action Bronson, whose personality took up the whole space. Bronson performed “Live From The Moon” as one of his hits and then telling the crowd to put their “middle fingers up” and sway to the beats. The noteworthy rapper with a groundbreaking sarcastic, larger than life personality cultivated on his hit show “Fuck That’s Delicious” had the entire crow saying “Fuck, That Was Awesome.”

Early on Sunday, The Roots put on an absolute festival clinic on playing what was essentially a 45-minute long single song.  The band never seemed to stop playing music, they just flowed naturally and seamlessly from track to track. mixing in original songs, raps, covers and funny moments along the way.  Effectively turning the band into a DJ, this set was a blast to experience; The Roots always bring a party wherever they go.

Veteran British reggae roots rockers Steel Pulse were full of energy and played a fantastic set on Sunday.  A well known band in the San Diego area and throughout the world, this talented group is celebrating 49 years of jamming and still gave many of the younger acts a run for their money.  Vocalist David Hinds belted out song after song inspiring the crowd, and bassist Amlak Tafari was on fire laying down some thunderous bass lines that got everyone moving.

The festival came to a roaring end with the one and only Beck  on Sunday Evening.  It’s safe to say that we left the festival wanting more.

Beck’s passionate and exciting set featured many memorable moments, including his crazy signature dance moves, a giant LED stage, and a huge crowd that couldn’t stop grooving.  His hit-rich 18 song setlist started off strong with “Devils Haircut” and “The New Pollution,” and ended with fan favorites like “Loser” and “Where It’s At.”

The festival with its diverse lineup and diverse audience of ages, definitely brought out some superb qualities San Diego qualities, of visually stunning scenery, a cultured scene with growing arts, and simply a stellar vibe to flow with and glide through.

Don’t miss out on Wonderfront 2025, it just keeps getting better.

Photos and Review by: Paloma Louise and Alex Matthews