On July 29th, 2017, fourteen bands gathered to support the San Diego chapter of The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The all day festival starting at 2:30pm and going till 10:30pm, was filled with amazing music, great food, and a little over a hundred people excited and ready to support the music and the cause.
Starting off the night was the alternative rock band, Chutes, from Imperial Beach, California. The audience chilled on the grass and enjoyed their upbeat tone for the thirty minute set. After a quick turnover, punk band Peggy183 took to Stage 2 and gave the still growing audience of about twenty people a thrilling performance. Playing songs like “Hey Yuki!” and “Wish I Could Fly :(” the small crowd couldn’t help but sing and dance along.
By the third set the audience was beginning to grow and everyone sat on the grass and gathered around for Elise Trouw. The singer-songwriter encapsulated the crowd as she played drums and changed up the punk sounds of the earlier bands to a more relaxed indie pop sound. Starting off with “Your Way,” and ending with her single, “Burn,” there wasn’t a dull moment during her set and the night was only just getting started.
Bringing the energy level back up, Slay Dean and Buddha Trixie took the stage at about 4:00pm and got everyone back on their feet. Slay Dean brought a heavier rock sound to the stage and shortly after, Buddha Trixie kept the audience stirring while playing “Worship Me” and other fan favorites from their “Real” EP.
After a quick thank you to the audience for coming out and supporting such an amazing cause, the sun began to set and the electric dance band, Moon Ensemble, got the crowd of about sixty people up and dancing to songs like “San Benito,” and “Fire,” but the energy didn’t stop there as alternative rock band, Spooky Cigarette, set up on Stage 2. The crowd was in constant motion and moshing to the exhilarating sounds of “Unadaptable” and “Spiritual Hypochondriac,” and the disappointment was noticeable as the band finished their set and the moshing came to a halt.
The night was still young and at about 8:30pm fan favorite, Splavender took the stage. Playing songs from their 2015 album “Shoreline Dilemma,” the now crowd of about a hundred people were hyped up and ready for the closing set of The Aquadolls.
Before The Aquadolls even walked on stage, there was a crowd forming to get as close as possible to the Southern California surf punk band. As singer-guitarist, Melissa Brooks sang the opening lines to “Guys Who Sk8,” the audience came to life and the moshing started up again. As a circle pit formed during “Sinus Infection,” the experience was invigorating and there wasn’t a still moment until they began to close off their set with “Wander.” The audience surrounded Brooks who had hopped into the pit to sing the final lines of the night and the cheers were deafening as the band finished off the eight hour festival.
The whole experience of Be Well Fest was incredible and definitely a night to remember. There’s not much more you could ask for in a memorable summer night than great music, good food, and supporting a remarkable cause with friends and some of the nicest people you could ever meet.
Make sure to remember that you are not alone, please talk to someone if you are ever feeling like suicide is the only option. We love you, stay safe. (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255)
(Songs used in video, in order: The Red Pears – “Run N’ Hide”
Peggy183 – “Let’s Run Away To Planet Dance”
3. Billy Changer – “She’s Good To Go”)
(PSA: We were not able to photograph every band, but very close! Sorry to those who’s sets we missed, I’m sure you killed it! But here are photos from the talented musicians we did catch, in the order that they played.)