Beach rock blared across the park. Hippie pants, furry vests and anything eclectic characterized the dress code. Beach balls bounced through the crowd, while free spirits hula-hooped to the beat. And as audience member Jason Short said, “the smell of the devil’s lettuce was in the air.”
On Saturday, hundreds of students gathered for live music and classic collegiate debauchery at Laguna Lake Park.
For those who couldn’t afford a Coachella ticket, “Live at Laguna” served as a mock alternative. The first-time setting was the sixth concert put on by Shabang, a student-organized music festival showcasing local rock musicians, usually at Cuesta Ridge.
Because a permit is needed to allow Shabang concerts to continue at Cuesta Ridge, Shabang decided to move the venue to Laguna Lake Park this quarter.
“All the years we went on top of Cuesta Ridge, it was a lot more reserved, a lot harder to get to, but it was really cool,” industrial technology senior Chase Parker said.
Parker said the new location is convenient because it is more accessible for students to attend.
“We can have anyone you want, at any time you want so it’s cool,” he said. “Anyone can come. This whole venue is super tight. No one knew that there was water in this lake.”
Aside from partying with friends in a beautiful setting, the concert had local artists painting with spray paint; food trucks; a raffle booth; hammock lounging, courtesy of the Cal Poly Hammock Club; and Shabang’s signature super-sized canopy that hung over couches for extra seating.
Reflecting on her Shabang experience, nutrition senior Bryanna Peace said, “It’s different. It’s my first one, so I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s really fun. There’s a lot of eclectic people, which is pretty cool. And it’s like different people from all kind of cliques, I guess you would say. So it’s kind of cool to see everyone together and hear music — that’s awesome.”
In terms of music, “Live at Laguna” hosted acoustic rock vocalist Rowan McGuire; alternative indie band honestly, nothing.; local rock group The Earthtones; psychedelic beach rock group Animals In The Attic; and five-man band William H. Klink.
“I’m feeling groovy and I really love the Earthtones,” audience member Tess Goodnowott said.
She described the audience reaction to the group as “lots of good energy, lots of fun people and lots of happy dancers.”
For Parker, William H. Klink stole the show.
“If you ever need music choice, look up William H. Klink, the last performance on,” he said. “They fucking kill it all the time.”
Whether people came for the music or the social setting, Shabang didn’t disappoint.
“It’s definitely not my normal scene but I’m having a good time,” nutrition senior Marissa Varni said. “Everyone seems to be really happy and enjoying the moment.”
For the hundreds of students who came out to share the experience, a good time was what they got. The setting wasn’t Cuesta Ridge, but the now-full Laguna Lake was beautiful with a cloudy orange sunset and mountainside. Great music partnered with wild college partying made for a memory that students will not soon forget.