Riding the Wave: How the Pearl Jam-Fronted Ohana Festival Kept Growing During a Pandemic

A year ago, organizers of the annual Ohana Festival in Dana Point, Calif., were stuck in their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic instead of rocking out on the beach for the planned three days of performances by Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Kings Of Leon, My Morning Jacket, Maggie Rogers and the Pretenders. So it came as a pleasant surprise to all involved that after a year’s postponement, not only did Ohana roar back to life with two headlining sets by Vedder and another by Pearl Jam, it actually grew into a second “encore” weekend headlined by Pearl Jam, setting the stage for further expansion in the future.

“When we re-announced the festival in May, it quickly sold out and we found ourselves in a unique spot where Pearl Jam was available. We worked hand in hand with the stage and the city of Dana Point and were able to lock in a second weekend quickly,” Live Nation’s regional head of talent for California, Rich Best, tells Variety. “Our approach has been slow and steady — grow organically and never compromise the fan or the artist. In our fifth year, we couldn’t be prouder.”

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