Concert goers will never again see the original lineups of rock music legends Van Halen, Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd in a concert hall.
But at the Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach next weekend, they can experience the next best thing.
Eleven tribute bands, including Fan Halen, Led Zepagain and Which One’s Pink? — will perform Friday through Sunday, Oct. 15-17, at the inaugural South Bay Rocktober Festival, or Rocktoberfest, for short.
“There’s a bunch of these bands that you can’t see anymore,” event producers Steve Hodges said. “These tribute bands are as close to the real thing as possible.”
Hodges, owner of the Ragin Cajun Cafe in Redondo Beach, also hosted a blues festival in 2018 and the Crawfish Jamboree in 2019.
When Dead Man’s Party, an Oingo Boingo cover band, drew the biggest crowd to the Jamboree, Hodges said, he was inspired.
“It seems like tribute bands are getting really popular,” Hodges thought to himself at the time.
So now, although Dead Man’s Party won’t be performing at Rocktoberfest, the restaurateur calls the Redondo Beach event “the biggest festival in the country” for tribute bands.
“I haven’t seen anything bigger,” he said.
Pink Floyd tribute band, Which One’s Pink?, have been performing the progressive rock band’s hits and deep cuts in the South Bay for more than two decades.
Which is pink? formed in the late 1990s after band manager Dan Johnson met fellow lawyer Larry Isenberg and they discovered their mutual love for Pink Floyd. The group gave their first concert in February 1998.
Johnson, a graduate of Hawthorne High School, said which one is pink has seven permanent members, as well as a rotating team when needed. Although he has no musical talent, Johnson said, he still performs with the band, including reciting parts of lyrics.
There has been a “massive tectonic shift” since Which one is pink? started 23 years ago, Johnson said. There were few tribute bands at the time and most of their gigs took place in small clubs.
“It started to get a bit better when Which one is pink? were one of the first tribute bands to play at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip,” Johnson said. “It kind of breaks down barriers.”
The coronavirus pandemic, however, has been a “disaster for the music industry,” he said, but “audiences are so excited to finally be brought back to some semblance of normality.”
Rocktoberfest will also feature an Americana menu, which organizers have dubbed “Beer, Brats and Burgers.”
“People want to go to the beach,” Hodges said, “having good food, craft beer, and just chilling and listening to music they know.”
Friday, October 15: 5-6:30 p.m. Journey DSB Tribute Band; 7-8:30 p.m., Which one is pink?
Saturday October 16: 12 p.m.-1 p.m., Fandango (ZZ Top); 1:30-2:25 p.m., Hollywood U2; 3:15-4:30 p.m., Kissed Alive; 5-6:30 p.m., Fan Halen; 7-8:30 p.m., Super Diamond (Neil Diamond)
Sunday October 17: 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m., The Long Run (The Eagles); 2-3.30 p.m., Aeromythe; 4-5.30 p.m., Led Zepagain; 6-7:30 p.m., Queen Nation
Cost: Tickets — which can be purchased for the day, for the entire weekend, as individual or group entry — range in price, from $25 to $1,099.