The inaugural Same Same But Different festival was held last weekend at the Lake Perris Recreation Area in Southern California. Going into a first-year festival takes a resounding amount of excitement, faith, and curiosity. Who knows what is actually going to ensue after you commit to purchasing a ticket? Well, nobody.
Luckily, those who chose to follow their intuition and attend SSBD were rewarded with an intimate and authentic festival.
Upon arriving at the venue, security, while relaxed and respectful, was attentive and directed my friend and I to where we needed to be. This was necessary, because the campgrounds of Lake Perris are sprawling, and it would have been easy to take a wrong turn and end up at the other side of the lake. Once inside the venue, it appeared as though the grounds were really empty. And they were. But, again, to be expected at a first-year festival that is not connected to a well-known production company. However, this spacious campground allowed everyone to make a comfortable and large home base if they so chose. I will take this moment to acknowledge that I’m a lazy camper who chose to just sleep in the front seat of my car.
After getting settled, glittered, and drinking a little rose, we headed into the festival grounds. Awaiting us was a spacious and grassy oasis dotted with colorful shade structures, a select few vendors, and a gorgeous dream catcher art installment. And, of course, a spectacular view of the picturesque venue.
This venue, you guys. You just cannot beat it, especially if you’re looking to stay in Southern California. There’s the lake, ideal for floating, boating, and paddle-boarding. The sandy shores that are made for soaking up the sun. And, the rocky hills that so effortlessly add dimension to the vibrant sunsets each evening. Lake Perris is a hidden gem that I want the whole world to know about, but also want to keep for myself.
The lineup featured many smaller artists that admittedly, I had never heard of before. However, all of them were perfect tunes to accompany lazying on the lush grass and catching up with friends. Some were a little off of the “beaten path”, but, when Lettuce came out to close Saturday night, you know we were all up and groovin’.
The vendors at SSBD were carefully curated and offered something for everyone- or, a lot of somethings for everyone. Food vendors were limited but provided all that guests really needed for a two-day festival. Might I mention that I will never forget about the drool-worthy kimchi quesadilla I scarfed down on Saturday night. However, not all of them stayed open all night which was unexpected for festival-goers used to 24/7 operations. Shopping was dangerous, and I think all of my friends walked away with a few new pieces for their wardrobe. There was even Reiki, offered by the wonderful San Diego based healer, Danielle McGhee, whose gifts provided me with a much-needed moment of pure peace and relaxation.
Without a doubt, the highlight of Same Same But Different was the magical set by The Floozies on Sunday night. Killing it with stellar mashups, funky originals, and creative covers, it was my favorite Floozies set to date, and definitely worth the wait.
While I hope that Same Same But Different absolutely returns next year, that is largely in part due to the people that showed up. The festival drew a crowd of lively people who were not afraid to release their inner child out to play for a couple of days. Synchronized dancing to house music, anyone?
I cannot wait to go return and soak up all of those intimate and authentic vibes in 2019. Can’t wait to see more people give the festival a chance when it comes back around!