It’s the season for music festivals across the Bay Area, and Benicia is a great place to beat the heat while enjoying a variety of talented bands. For two full days at the end of July, Benicia will be jamming with live music, craft beers, local wines, incredible food, shopping and fun activities for the kids during the Benicia Waterfront Festival.
Conveniently nestled between San Francisco and Napa, this bay-side town is centrally located and easy to get to. Just 40 minutes from the Bay Bridge and less than 10 minutes from Interstate 80 near the Carquinez Bridge, Benicia is an ideal spot to chill out on a hot summer day.
The festival will be held on the First Street Green at the foot of First Street, near the Promenade. There’s plenty of free parking throughout downtown Benicia. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+) and kids under 12 are free with a paid adult. For those looking to get the most bang for their buck, weekend passes are just $15 for adults. For more information on discounts and tickets check out Benicia Main Street’s website.
More than 50 arts and crafts vendors, hot food booths and places for kids to have fun will be on hand, including a bounce house and face painting. For a list of Waterfront Festival booths, click here.
The music begins at 11:30 a.m. and goes all day until 8 p.m., and this year’s line-up is sure to have you dancing on the lawn and reminiscing. Here’s a little bit of what to expect:
Saturday, July 29
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The J Silverheels Band is a rock ‘n roll cover band playing everything from Elvis to AC/DC. Since 1976, this Napa-based band has been rocking the Bay Area. A true crowd pleaser, J Silverheels is known to play whatever the audience prefers. Whether it is oldies from the 50s & 60s, classic rock from the 70s, top 40 pop rock hits from the 80s, or country and Motown hits, their variety has something for everyone. They play only songs that everyone knows and loves, like Sweet Home Alabama, Mustang Sally, Wooly Bully, Louie Louie, Twist & Shout, Old Time Rock & Roll and more.
Public Eye is a rock band that has been playing music together for over 23 years. If you are a fan of the Goo Goo Dolls, U2, Steely Dan or Eagles, then prepare to rock your Saturday away in Benicia. Public Eye will bring great, danceable music to the stage from the 60s through today. Their high-energy, diverse playlist is one that you can sing and dance to.
The name says it all for the Hella Good Party Band. A six-piece dance band that rocks and entertains with top dance hits from the 70s to today. Bring your boogie shoes for one of the best live dance music shows in the Bay Area. Hella Good’s playlist includes hit songs by Blonde, Madonna, Hall & Oats, Prince, and Bruno Mars.
Sunday, July 30
House of Floyd
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Die-hard Pink Floyd fans won’t be disappointed with tribute band, House of Floyd. Led by Benicia resident Mark Showalter, House of Floyd will take you back in time with the popular hits and a few less-known songs to please even the most discriminating fans.
Farenhyte 5150 is a dynamic entertainment machine with high-energy and a jammin’ playlist. Influenced by the sounds of R&B, funk, soul, Latin, and classy/cool hip hop genres, Farenhyte 5150 has earned recording, writing, production, touring, and performing credits not only with platinum recording artists and show bands, but also with television and top motion picture hits. The band’s playlist includes hits from Prince, Al Green, R. Kelly, Smokey Robinson and Aerosmith.
Wrapping up the Waterfront Festival is Tortilla Soup, a band known for its fun and entertaining music. With over 30 years of experience, Tortilla Soup rocks music from Latin, cumbia, salsa, Tex-Mex, R&B, blues, funk and soul. Lead by Robert Payne, their playlist includes Mary J. Blige, Betty Wright, James Brown, Van Morrison and Maroon 5.