Growlers 6 captures the old Beach Goth feel with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Modest Mouse
By Peter Larsen
Meet the new festival, same as the old festival? Growlers 6, which opened Saturday, Oct. 28, for the first of two days on a cool and breezy San Pedro peninsula, is, of course, but for the bad blood and location and lawyers of Beach Goth 6.
Fans of both the band and the festival know the story: After five years of hosting Beach Goth at the Observatory in Santa Ana, the indie rock band the Growlers got sued by the venue last year over rights to the name and its merchandising, as well as which entity — band or venue — was really the creative force behind the fest.
Beach Goth 5, which had ended a week or so before the lawsuit was filed, was — how shall we put it? — a disaster. A last-minute move back to the Observatory from the larger Oak Canyon Park left the grounds woefully unprepared for the crowds that came, and rain on the second day led to equipment failures and the cancellation of some acts.
All of that left the idea of another Beach Goth ever happening almost unthinkable, though the alternative — the Growlers starting over under a new name at a new location — wasn’t really a surprise when it was announced this summer. (I don’t know where the lawsuit stands today, but it was interesting to see a few items of Beach Goth merch for sale on Saturday, given how prominently proceeds from that featured in the original legal dispute.)