After a yearlong hiatus, numerous O.B. residents and visitors welcomed the Jazz 88 Ocean Beach Music & Art Festival (formerly the O.B. Jazz Fest) back to Newport Avenue on Saturday, September 11.
One aspect of this gathering set it apart from the numerous fairs, festivals, and parades that Newport plays host to every year: paid admission. While there were plenty of art displays, craft booths, and carnival foods available on the blocked-off street and at the park near the main lifeguard tower, admission to five of the seven performance venues was restricted to holders of $30 festival tickets. Several local bars playing host to the shows denied entry to regular patrons for the day.
A seventh, VIP-only stage required the purchase of a separate $200 ticket to gain admittance. “Two hundred dollars? [Expletive], even 30 bucks seems pretty steep for down here,” muttered Chris, a local sitting for lunch at the Tower Two Café. “Didn’t the beer garden at Oktoberfest last year cost, like, two bucks to get into?”