Music lovers of all ages can enjoy a musical tour around the world when the Orange County Great Park, in association with Irvine Barclay Theatre, presents a diverse mix of internationally acclaimed musicians, dancers and exciting new artists at the fifth annual Flights & Sounds Summer Festival beginning Thursday, August 2 at the Great Park.
Each weekend during the five-week festival offers music lovers a different stop on this expertly curated musical and cultural world tour set in unique venues at the Great Park. Multiple Grammy Award-winning sensation Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz bandleader Poncho Sanchez, Persian electronica phenomenon Niyaz and Grammy Award-winning bluegrass legend Del McCoury headline the summer festival.
The annual Flights & Sounds Summer Festival originated in 2008 as part of the Great Park’s commitment to delivering top-quality arts and culture programs to Orange County. Curated in association with Irvine Barclay Theatre, the Festival has evolved into a signature event in the Southern California arts landscape.
“More than 20,000 visitors enjoyed last year’s Flights & Sounds Summer Festival and we’re excited to build on that success,” said Beth Krom, Chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation. “We’ve taken great care to curate a diverse and spectacular music and dance celebration that will feature five weekends of performances ranging from African rhythms to Latin music to British and Celtic folk to popular American swing.”
Unforgettable Experience in Unique Venues
Beyond the varied and rich musical line up, the Great Park Flights & Sounds Summer Festival provides a unique setting that adds to the visitor experience. The musical performances take place in three specially-designed iconic venues at the Great Park.
· New this year, the Palm Court Arts Complex venue will feature a place to mix and mingle under 54 illuminated Canary Island Palm Trees delivering an outdoor club-like setting unequaled in Orange County.
· The Runway Stage venue will showcase the Festival headliners and offers concert seating and spacious lawns for those bringing their blankets and chairs.
· The Dance Concourse venue features the iconic black and white checkerboard dance floor and includes dance instruction from Atomic Ballroom at 7:45 p.m. under the glow of the Great Park Balloon.
To see photographs of these iconic venues, click here.
Festival Schedule and Featured Musicians
Latin Music Weekend – East LA Rock, Salsa Dance Party and Cuban Bop – August 2 - 4
· La Santa Cecilia: Thursday, August 2, Palm Court Arts Complex – Chicano folk-rock meets pan-Latin rhythms
· La Sirena y Orquesta Mar de Ashé: Friday, August 3, Dance Concourse – Traditional salsa dance party music with dance instruction from Atomic Ballroom
· Poncho Sanchez with trumpeter Christian Scott: Saturday, August 4, Runway Stage – Cubano Be Cubano Bop, a program celebrating the Latin jazz collaboration of Bebop legend Dizzy Gillespie and Cuban conguero Chano Pozo
World Beat Weekend – African Rhythms, Contemporary Persian Electronica and Bollywood Dance – August 9 - 11
· Niyaz: Thursday, August 9, Palm Court Arts Complex - Persian electronica featuring a Sufi dancer
· Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Friday, August 10, Runway Stage - Africa’s superstar a cappella group, made famous on Paul Simon’s Graceland album 25 years ago and still singing strong
· DJ Rekha: Saturday, August 11, Dance Concourse – DJ Rekha spins Bhangra and Bollywood music
Brits and Celts Weekend – The New British and Irish Invasion – August 17 and 18
· The Dunwells: Friday, August 17, Palm Court Arts Complex - These folk-rockers from Leeds have been called “the next U2”
· Solas: Saturday, August 18, Runway Stage - The quintessential Irish-American band, starring Seamus Egan in traditional and contemporary Celtic music
Made in America Weekend – Blues, Swing and Great Guitars - August 23 - 25
· Jim Washburn’s Guitar Picks: Thursday, August 23, Palm Court Arts Complex – A one-of-a-kind program curated by local critic Jim Washburn and featuring the John Jorgenson Quintet, legendary bluesman Junior Watson and more
· Pete Jacobs Band: Friday, August 24, Dance Concourse - Swing music then and now with dance instruction by Atomic Ballroom
· Del McCoury Band: Saturday, August 25, Runway Stage – Back by popular demand, the Del McCoury Band returns to the Great Park with high, lonesome vocals and a knife-sharp band that keep the bluegrass flame alive
Summer’s End Weekend – Dance Your Way into Labor Day – August 30 and 31
· Performer TBD: Thursday, August 30, Palm Court Arts Complex
· Lavay Smith and Her Red-Hot Skillet Lickers: Friday, August 31, Dance Concourse - Bay Area blues and swing, hot and sweet!
Live music begins at 8:15 p.m. Dance instruction will be provided on select nights beginning at 7:45 p.m. The Hangar Café opens at 6:15 p.m. before all shows and will feature a fresh selection of delicious food and beverages. Admission is free, and parking is $10.
The Orange County Great Park is located at Sand Canyon and Marine Way, and can easily be reached by the 5 or 405 freeways. For more information, visit, please visit www.ocgp.org or call 866-829-3829.