Two Days of Beach Goth


Avalon in a dead bride gown. 

The highlights of day one

Words and photos by Christopher Orozco Advertising and Distribution 

Chicks are dudes, dudes are chicks, beards and beers, and weed and cigarettes—welcome to the chaos of Beach Goth.

From grassy sidelines to the black concrete of the Santa Ana Observatory’s parking lot, one can eye the colorful crowd in all sorts of fashions with or without clothes. No matter where you were in Beach Goth, you got a whiff of marijuana and tobacco fragrant with side of beer spillage on your skin. Just mind the security guards, they are bit on the edge due to the drunks and baked concert goers.

The original location of the event was at Oak Canyon Park in Orange County, home of Lake Irvine. Oak Canyon Park is roughly fourteen times the size of the Observatory.

However, some complications occurred and Beach Goth squeezed between one thousand to two thousand fans within the Observatory.

chicano batman


Eduardo Arenas of Chicano Batman singing during the set. 

“Squeezed in, come on in, we can fit y’all in,” announced Brooks Nielsen, lead singer of The Growlers and creator of Beach Goth, responding to the overflow on his stage.

If one arrived early to Beach Goth, there was enough open space and enough movement to catch multiple bands play at once. As you neared the big names like Bon Iver, King Krule, Patti Smith, TLC, or The Growlers, more people began to show up, which became a problem. You had to apologize a shit ton, follow spontaneous conga lines to get to another stage, and looked where you step becaused of passed out junkies and wobbly drunks.

This may sound like a horrible event to attend due to the multiple fire hazard violations and catastrophic population density. However, if you enjoy arbitrary

human mazes, a bit of chaos, and living in the moment, then this event is right for you.

Let’s talk about the favorite moments. First, it is a pre-Halloween musical festival. The uglier and the more weird you dressed, the cooler you were regardless whether it looks hip or fashionable. You can go as far as to being Frida Kahlo, Dia de los Muertes style, neon color wig wearers, wizards, retro-punks, or Rey from Star Wars. Is the event pasties friendly? Yes.

heron oblivion


Heron Oblivion members Meg Baird and Ethan Miller singing and performing. 

Second, the culture of Beach Goth is positive. Occasionally, you will meet a few Negative Nancys. As long as you kill them with kindness and a good old fashioned sorry, they’ll understand. The crowd is supportive of each other, mosh pits and crowd surfing.

Finally, the line-ups were amazing. Whoever pre-screened the small bands and got the big names to sign up, they did a fantastic job. In all my years, I never thought that I would enjoy Spanish screamo to the metal-ronic duo group, Health (imagine Tame Impala’s singer working with Steve Aoki). Not only were the bands very sincere and open, but they were also very fun as they interacted with the crowd. 


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