Photos: Happy Sundays music festival in Long Beach

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After a year lost to the pandemic, the Happy Sundays music festival returned to Long Beach, bringing diverse sounds to eight venues for an afternoon and evening of good vibes.

“It feels pretty amazing,” said Julia Kugel (of the Coathangers), one of the organizers of the festival, which launched in 2017. “It feels good to see people smiling and enjoying themselves. People are chill and smiling and being respectful.”

She added: “COVID-19 presented unique complications. But it also had us ask about what type of culture we wanted to create. We’re taking a more holistic approach this year. For example, we told security to make sure they look after the safety of the attendees and not just the bands.”

Festival-goers were transported between venues via a double-decker party bus, and here’s a sampling of what they witnessed:

Chapis started the festival off at 2 p.m. with a “happy Sunday” to all at DiPiazza’s. A few minutes later, Stormhouse took the stage at Alex’s Bar with fierce force. She Wears Black at Tennessee Jack’s sang about whiskey while taking a sip of whiskey. Danke over at All Time Plants mused, “I don’t have anything to say so …,” launching into her impressionistic set. Her hands told the story, which included playing an imaginary xylophone.

Operation No One Knows was a late add at Supply & Demand, playing jazz, funk and whatever they wanted and getting the crowd to dance it all. They gave shoutouts to their friends who showed up at the last minute. MoonFuzz is a band in constant motion and packed Tennessee Jack’s with their fans. The three-piece ended their set by letting their drummer Brandi solo for five minutes, which reminded one of the 2014 movie “Whiplash.” Dream Phases handled the closing of Tennessee Jack’s with their ’70s-inspired psychedelic rock. Jagged Baptist Club had their synth sending out siren calls that had the crowd in a frenzied but controlled mosh pit. Fallen dancers were quickly helped back onto their feet. Their Depeche Mode-inspired song “Temptation Death House” got the crowd chanting “JBC. JBC. JBC.” N8NOFACE set up his musical instruments on an old card table, and then posed for fan photos and gave a promise to who would get his set list after the show was over. With his pre-recorded electronic sets, this EDM-punk artist sprung into action as soon as he was given the green light to start his set. When he concluded his set, demands were made for an encore. He obliged, helping to send the crowd home celebrating an enjoyable festival that the organizers were aiming for.

Photos and recap by Notes From Vivace

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