It seems like a new festival is popping up around the country every week and most first year festies tend to slack in certain areas making it difficult for attendees to want to come back again. This was not the case for Same Same But Different.
The first thing I have to mention is the venue. Lake Perris, CA is 90 minutes from both LA and San Diego making it extremely accessible. It just so happens to also be one of the most beautiful areas of Southern CA that I have been to so far. The lake is way bigger than expected and the water was clear and the perfect temp for swimming. The beach was huge and clean and the mountains to the South were stunning. While taking a quick dip in the lake, fellow festival goer and amazingly fun human being, Brett, offered me a chance to take his paddle board out and I couldn't say no. Between the layers of mountains in the distance, the sunset gleaming off the water and the smooth glide of that paddle board I had a moment of pure bliss.
This was not just a music festival! They had yoga and art classes throughout the weekend as well as a Social Garden making for a fun escape from the routines of a regular fest. The hosts of the art classes were extremely talented and friendly making it easy to approach something new to us less talented folk. The yoga instructors seemed to have endless amounts of energy and kept things rocking at the Coconut Club all day and much into the night. There was even a 2:30am beach party on Sunday after the main acts at the beach club for those attendees who just couldn't quit.
The set up of the grounds was visually appealing and convenient; a welcome change from parking lot festivals. The GA campground stayed cool because of the giant shade trees and was located really close to the main festival area as well as the beach making it easy to go back and forth. They did a great job providing shade for both stages and there was no confusion about where amenities could be found.
The Day One musical acts were on point. They had a wide range of musical styles making it easy for anyone to enjoy and discover new acts. They also took a new idea to music festivals and only had one stage playing music at a time. This forced everyone in attendance to be exposed to bands and music that they had not previously been exposed to and probably wouldn't have seen if they didn't organize it in this way. I spent much of the first day participating in other activities but I made sure to catch Family Crest as they took the stage around sunset. Not only was their set incredible but the view of the setting sun behind the stage was absolutely to die for. The night truly kicked off with Through The Roots whose electrifying set not only surprised me but everyone else at the festival. At the end of their set, I heard someone behind me say, "I thought they were just a filler but they were incredible!" Performing in their usual fashion, Lettuce did not disappoint, proving why they are one of the leading jam bands of today and the headliner for day one. After Lettuce the music switched over to a bass filled night featuring Late Night Radio and Boombox who kept the party moving until they handed it off to those left dancing in the Social Garden with a variety of different House DJs.
Day two started off right with some local SoCal bands. Rudaroo favorites Band of Gringos and MDRN HSTRY both played incredible sets and ushered in the air of fun to set the mood for the rest of the day. Los Angeles band Knower brought the funky synth to the next level which led right into Capyac who exploded with stage presence. Dirtwire's blend of Americana and Dance music was a sound I didn't know existed and Moon Hooch started what turned into a trend of unique saxophone performances reminiscent of Too Many Zoos meets March Fourth Marching Band. The headliner, The Floozies, were amazing! The duo from Lawrence, KS are brothers and it is obvious that their music chemistry comes from a lifetime of playing together and sharing the same blood. Matt Hill plays guitar and produces the electro funk sound the band is known for and Mark Hill is one of the most crisp and accurate drummers I have seen play live in my entire life. The mix of the two makes for a sound that is irresistible to move to. The music acts ended with Denver band Lyftd which turned out to be a perfect night cap fusing dance with hip-hop, soul, funk, and rock.
Same Same But Different was at a perfect venue, with amazing acts and a ton of awesome other activities to keep the party going over the entire weekend. I suggest you don't miss next year because this fest is going to be the next big thing! Womp Womp!