May 29, 2024 - News

North Park Music Fest is coming into its own

Two festival attendees in front of an art installation

Attendees at last year's North Park Music Festival in front of an art installation. Photo: Courtesy of North Park Main Street

Year three of the North Park Music Festival is upon us this weekend.

The big picture: The two-day festival is taking shape as a family-friendly neighborhood party boasting a curated lineup of national acts and up-and-coming local talent.

What they're saying: Mark West, who is organizing the event as North Park Main Street's executive director, said he's targeting a Goldilocks zone for the festival.

  • "We're trying to land this right in between Wonderfront — a massive event with a budget in the millions — and the Adams Avenue Street Fair, the city's preeminent street fair with all local bands," West said.

Zoom in: The festival has three stages spread across three blocks centered around the North Park Mini Park — that mostly concrete patch behind the Observatory — south of University Avenue.

  • It starts at 4pm Friday and runs all day, starting at noon, on Saturday.
  • Tickets are $45 for one day or $60 for two, and entry is free for anyone under 18.

The intrigue: "We tried to create a festival that will appeal to people from all over the county to enjoy music brought to San Diego from all over the world," West said.

  • That's where it got its tagline — "Music Beyond Borders."
  • The lineup includes a Grammy-winning blues star, an experimental singer-songwriter descended from rock royalty, an elusive reunion gig for aughts-era San Diego stars, a Tijuana indie-pop act, and local talent playing psych rock, Afrobeat/cumbia, and soul/funk.

Worthy of your time: 15 local food vendors will be on hand, and drinks are available from breweries like North Park Beer Co. and Original 40, canned cocktail-maker Seaborn and cider and kombucha spots Bivouac and Boochcraft.

  • There's a kids zone, too — the "family friendly" tag isn't an empty promise.

What we're watching: The festival's permit allows 10,000 people per day, but West doesn't expect to approach that anytime soon.

  • 4,000 people came last year over two days, and they'll be happy to reach 5,000 this year.

Read more: Inside the 2024 NPMF lineup

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