Just in case the panoply of last weekend's #Beychella didn't clue you in, festival season is officially upon us. From coast-to-coast, concert organizers have absolutely zero chill – unveiling stacked lineups and dangling headliner bait as enticement to part with our coins. ESSENCE, Capital Jazz, The Roots Picnic, Summer Spirit, Panorama NYC, we want them all! But the way our bank account is set up...yeah, never gonna happen. As we shed "broke tears" and eenie-meenie-miney-moe our way through the impossibly good options, the evil folks at Goldenvoice have made the decision that much harder with the announcement of Smokin Grooves Festival.
If the name rings a bell, it's because in a former life, Smokin' Grooves (note the apostrophe) was a hip-hop tour launched in 1996 as an answer to Lollapalooza. After a few very successful years, trekking the U.S. and eventually heading overseas, the tour ceased in early aughts. Now revamped and under new management, Smokin Grooves Festival is an alt-R&B wonderland where hip-hop can freely graze.
Headlined by concert bae Erykah Badu (at this point, it's easier to count the festivals where she won't be performing), Miguel and Jhené Aiko, the inaugural one-day event will take place on June 16th at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Already worth the price of admission based on those three names alone, rest assured you'll get your money's worth because NxWorries, The Roots with Busta Rhymes and H.E.R. are on the bill as well. Go ahead and leave your jaw on the floor as you read on, because the lineup also includes Thundercat, Alina Baraz, Lion Babe, Masego, DVSN, Majid Jordan, Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def), Snoh Aalegra, Jordan Rakei, Xavier Omar, Smino, Ravyn Lenae, Phony Ppl, Les Nubians, Ari Lennox and more.
We're not sure how in the world they can squeeze all this talent into one day (seriously, HOW??), but we plan to be front and center. Mark your calendars and set a reminder for April 24th at noon when passes become available for purchase. Early Bird tickets start at $99 for General Admission with Pit Passes, VIP Passes and other upgrades available according to your budget. Peep the full concert lineup below and visit the Smokin Grooves Festival website for full details.