Recording legend and country music superstar Willie Nelson will be one of three performers headlining the first BeachLife Festival, which takes place in May 2019 at Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach, it was announced Monday, Dec. 10.
Saint Rocke owner Allen Sanford announced plans for the May 3, 4 and 5 event last week, saying there would be three "iconic acts," of which Nelson is the first to be revealed.
Nelson, 85, is one of the most recognized artists in country music. He's recently been nominated for two Grammy awards: one for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "My Way," a studio album of Frank Sinatra standards; the other for Best American Roots Performance for Last Man Standing, newly penned songs with producer Buddy Cannon.
"Growing up in the South Bay, I spent nearly every weekend at the beach listening to Willie Nelson," Sanford said Monday. "Still today, Willie’s legendary songwriting has become synonymous with sandy feet and sunset cocktails for me."
Sanford said that when he and business partner Rob Lissner conceptualized BeachLife, it was essential to have Nelson be among the headliners.
"His sound transcends genres, embraces the very essence of the 'beachlife' vibe and complements the rest of the killer lineup we have planned," said Sanford.
Nelson was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993, received Kennedy Center Honors in 1998 and was inducted in the National Agricultural Hall of Fame for his efforts on behalf of farmers. His liberal activism has led to him founding a recreational cannabis company named Willie's Reserve, for which he's set to receive a Lifetime Achievment Award at the 15th annual cannabis-themed Emerald Cup in Santa
Rosa on Dec. 15.
The inaugural BeachLife Festival on May 3, 4 and 5 will also include more than 40 bands on three stages over 8.6 acres, with all performances live streamed.
According to organizers, the music, including the headliners, will come from a variety of genres.
“It's called BeachLife because it's what I know and what I grew up in and what I know I can deliver authentically,” Sanford said. “It's layered in music, what we would be listening to on the beach with our friends. It's not really genre specific.”
Sanford grew up in the South Bay when The Strand in Redondo Beach was a beacon of live music. Years later he opened Saint Rocke and founded the Hermosa Beach Summer Concerts to bring quality music back to the beach cities.
BeachLife will have two main stages and a smaller stage, which will alternate acts, so bands will not play simultaneously.
At the May festival, Nelson will play with his touring group, the Family. That may include his son Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. Lukas coproduced the music for the film "A Star is Born" and wrote songs with Lady Gaga. The band Promise of the Real appears as the band for Bradley Cooper's character Jackson Maine.
To purchase tickets, visit BeachLifeFestival.com.
**Updated at 4:55pm to include a quote from Sanford and background on Nelson.