The Festival of Arts & Pageant of the Masters is exactly that – two enormous productions that symbiotically co-exist next to each other on the same grounds.
This year’s Pageant of the Masters is titled “Made in America, Trailblazing Artists & Their Stories,” and focuses on revolutionaries, innovators and dreamers who made this country their home. It plays nightly in the Irvine Bowl at 8:30 and I, for one, cannot wait to see it – it’s been playing about a week, and friends are telling me it’s one of the best on record.
Meanwhile, the Festival of Arts runs practically all day until 11:30 p.m. each night (weekdays open at 4:00 p.m. and weekends open at 10:00 am). The Festival of Arts Laguna Beach is primarily a juried fine-arts show with more than 100 artists BUT it’s also art workshops, tours, live music and special events.
Even as this is a scaled down “re-entry” year, there’s still so much happening here. Here are a few of my favorites:
Docent Art Tours – free
The only thing better than seeing all this art in one place is having someone explain it all to you with backstories, introductions to artists and more. The Festival Docents are awesome, taking you on your own tour of the grounds. Tours are daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Check Out Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate Nights – $20 for 21 and up
Spend an additional $20 beyond your admission fee (trust me – it’s worth it), for a fun Thursday night of live jazz as you pair chocolates with wine and get to know the artists along the way. I love it! The event begins at 5:30 p.m.
So Much Live Music Here
This is such a cornucopia of talent that it really behooves you to check out the entire Festival calendar to find your own favorites. As you’ll see in this Festival Music Schedule and Ticket options, some concerts are free and others are an additional fee. You must also purchase a festival grounds admission ticket for access to the grounds unless you fall in the “free” category (see those details below.)
“Select” Wednesdays are devoted to local Laguna Beach music organizations, including the Laguna Community Jazz Band and favorites from Laguna Live!’s organization (which is always stellar).
Festival Friday Favorites offers an “eclectic” series of some of the most talented musicians in Southern California. The favorite Laguna locals band, the 133 Band, take the last weekend, Sept. 3rd. See other calendared events, here too.
Saturday Concerts on the Green start at 1:00 p.m. and tend to be quite rockin’ events. Lee Rocker just played a week ago (former Stray Cats) and one of my favorites of all time, Side Deal, will be back on Aug. 21st. (That’s a definite must see.)
“Tremendous Tributes” take the stage later on Saturday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. My personal favorite in the lineup is Aug. 21st’s Terry Steele as he belts out tribute songs to Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin.
Music in the Park on Sundays brings in well-known regional bands, with LA Sound Machine (Aug 8th) and the Tom Nolan band on Aug. 22nd remaining.
Celebrity Benefit to Close the Show
And, as is the custom, the Celebrity Benefit is a private event with a separate ticket required on Saturday, Aug. 28th. Grammy award winning jazz musician Pancho Sanchez will be playing and the Celebrity host is still to be announced. Stay tuned!
Laguna Beach locals (with proof, and they’re serious about this) always get in FREE.
Festival of Arts members, Military and children 5 or under also get in FREE.
General Admission – $10, Students and seniors 65+ – $7 and Children 6-12 are $5.
General Admission – $15, Students and seniors 65+ – $11 and Children 6-12 are $5.
Hope this all helps as you navigate the amazing Festival of Arts this year!