Latin Music Week

New Order & James Blake to Headline Music Tastes Good in Long Beach

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Josh Coffman
From left to right: Meagan Blome, Abbie Fischel, Khanh Hoang, Lauren Coleman

Joey Bada$$, The Black Angels, Broken Social Scene, Lizzo, Santigold & more to perform at fest honoring musician and artist Josh Fischel.

Music Tastes Good, the two-day festival created by the late artist and musician Josh Fischel and now carried on by his wife Abbie Fischel and a team of independent music professionals, is returning for its third year as a celebration of music, food, diversity and all things Long Beach.

The Sept. 29-30 festival is being headlined by British '80s post-punk band New Order, plus rapper Joey Bada$$, indie rockers Broken Social Scene and "Creator" singer Santigold on Saturday. British singer James Blake headlines Sunday night with The Black Angels, rising talent Lizzo and Brooklyn rockers Parquet Courts.

Rounding out the lineup is Lil B, Princess Nokia, Blake Mills, Big Thief, Cherry Glazerr, Oliver Tree, Shame, Los Master Plus, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, NO BS! Brass Band, The Church, Sun Kil Moon, Bill Callahan, Hollie Cook, Hailu Mergia, Ezra Furman, Ladama, The Blow, De Lux, Ethio Cali, B.A.G. which is Blimes and Gifted Gab, and more.

See the full lineup below:

"The lineup spans ages and genres and in a way that makes a lot of sense and captures the personality of Music Tastes Good," says festival managing director Meagan Blome. "Our curatorial team isn't just one person. There's multiple people on our team that are booking the festival and that comes out in all of the different sounds and artists that you see."

Music Tastes Good was created in 2016 by Josh Fischel as a thank you gift to Long Beach, the city he shared with his wife Abbie Fischel. In 2016, he told Amplify his vision for the festival was to “make sure that every community was represented: the Cambodian community, the Latino community, the LBGT community. Everything that we have in Long Beach because that’s what Long Beach is -- this multicultural, beautiful city."

Fischel died on the last night of the inaugural 2016 festival, succumbing to a liver disease he had been fighting for many years. After his death, his wife Abbie and the team that organized the 2016 festival relaunched the event in dedication to Fischel's memory and moved it from downtown Long Beach to its current home at Marina Green Park.

"The lineup represents what Josh wanted to share with the people of Long Beach," Fischel says. "Josh was constantly surprising me with the things he liked -- so many things that you wouldn't expect to go together. We know fans will come for a band like New Order, but then discover something new and surprise themselves. And for me, and for Josh, that represents the heart of this festival." 

This year's team includes Fischel and Blome, senior communications coordinator Lauren Coleman, Khanh Hoang who handles chef relations and talent buyer Jon Halperin. Also on the team are creative director  Chris Watson and festival advisor Zach Fischel, as well as art coordinator Niko Galvez, vendor coordinator Heather Kern, production assistant Ashley Hectus, production coordinator  Vince Gutierrez, head of production Brian Akio Martinez and Corey Watson who handles design.

"People can continue to expect what we've consistently brought to them which is eclecticism and representing Long Beach through music and food," Fischel tells Billboard. "And this year we're incorporating more cities than we ever have before with chefs from the entire West Coast."

MTG will once includes a gourmet food component with a number of celebrity chefs participating in the festival's "Taste Tent" which will be opened to all guests this year who can purchase tastes a la carte (festival organizers are also doing away with last year's cashless wristbands and moving to card/cash payment).

Chefs were chosen from Port Cities of the West Coast, including Canada's Wesley Young, Seattle's Jeffrey Vance and Cameron Hanin, Pat Manning from Portland and Northern California's Rachel Aronow, Sincere Justice Wong, Edward Martinez and Michael Thiemann. Local chef Dawna Bass from Long Beach's raw/vegan restaurant Under the Sun and Jason Witzl with Ellie’s, as wells as Long Beach Creamery's Dina Amadril, A Good Carrot's Aliye Aydin and Arthur Gonzales from Roe and Panxa Cocina will all be cooking and serving at Music Tastes Good. 

"The festival is all about experiencing something new," says Coleman. "Whether it's something in our chef's tent or a new band you haven't heard of before, Music Taste Good is a chance to experience something different and become a fan of a band you hadn't heard until you watched them play at the festival."