Students crowding at the barricades at a previous Shabang festival. Credit: Courtesy of Nicole Morgan

Shabang, advertised as the “full dose of the Central Coast,” is a local music festival that will feature more than 50 live performances across four different stages, on May 5-6 at Dairy Creek Golf Course.

The festival was started by three friends from Cal Poly in 2014, featuring local acts, as a way to popularize house shows. It has since expanded over the years, attracting more attendees and artists.

A few things are different about the live arts and music festival this year, one of those things being the price. 

Last year tickets were around $135 for both days, whereas this year, a two-day early bird pass was $190. The price of pre-sale is $195. There’s also an option for a pre-sale single-day ticket on Friday for $95 and Saturday at $135. VIP passes for both days are starting at $335.

When factoring in the elevated cost, Shabang Public Relations Specialist Nicole Morgan said, “Our four headliners go for $50 – $100 each for their individual shows, and there’s another 47 artists after that in our lineup.” 

She also compared Shabang to other festivals, saying that the beauty of Shabang is that it’s right here “in our own backyard,” which brings down the normal travel fees associated with festival culture. 

This year the lineup includes Hippocampus, Vundabar, Hayden James, Dudeo Perez, Black V Neck and more. 

Morgan described Shabang as, “the best day of the year in SLO!”

Another reason for the price increase has to do with the price of the venue’s new location at Dairy Creek Golf Course compared to last year’s location at Laguna Lake Park. The new location will allow for more stages and room for different art venues. These various art venues include collaborative canvases, statue building and art cars. The festival also features a variety of food and drink options.

With these new changes, Shabang will still be close to double the price it was last year and will affect the demographic of mostly 18-24-year-old attendees.

To attend last year’s festival, business junior Ella Masingale worked as a part of Shabang’s ambassador program to bring down the cost. Being an ambassador involves selling tickets and or promoting the festival on social media. By doing this, one can earn points that go towards festival tickets, merchandise and VIP upgrades. 

In regards to if Shabang is still worth it, given the increased cost, Masingale said, “I think live music brings about feelings that no pre-recorded song can.” 

Although volunteering won’t be an option for all, the venue also provides different payment plans and in-person discounts. 

Those interested in attending can purchase tickets on their website.