May 8, 2024 - Things to Do

Insider's guide to this weekend's Wonderfront Festival

A photo from the Wonderfront festival grounds in 2022

A festival fan during Wonderfront's 2022 event. Photo: Courtesy Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival

More than 80 acts spread across nine venues will perform at Wonderfront — including free stages outside the festival and aftershows around town.

It's a lot to navigate, but for anyone interested in getting a taste of the festival that's trying to build itself into a San Diego mainstay, here's how to do it.

The vibe: Festival organizers this year mostly focused each day around a genre.

  • Friday is hip hop and EDM day — headliners Kaytranada and JID follow a day of T-Pain, Channel Tres, Bakar, Paris Texas and others.
  • Saturday is all interest rock and pop — Weezer and Dominik Fike headline after a day of sets including Carly Rae Jepsen, Action Bronson, Briston Maroney, Milky Chance, Poolside and Proxima Parada.
  • Sunday is a rootsy, Americana, party vibe headlined by Beck and Mt. Joy with standouts like The Roots, Marcus King, Steel Pulse, Natasha Bedingfield, Fruit Bats, Samm Henshaw and Mapache.

How it works: Music Box is hosting $35 aftershows each night — Channel Tres on Friday, Poolside on Saturday and Rayland Baxter and Fruit Bats on Sunday.

  • Wonderfront is offering two, free stages in Seaport Village, after Port of San Diego waived park permit fees for the event.
  • Great local bands like The Routine, Half Hour Late, Band of Gringos and Spacehall Sound Machine are playing in the festival or on the community stages (or both).
  • Neighboring Ruocco Park has free activities from noon to 10 pm each day, too.

Zoom in: Wonderfront built a dance-club tent in the center of the grounds.

My thought bubble: Setting the big names aside, I'm carving out time to see Paris Texas, Proxima Parada, Mapache and Samm Henshaw.


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