Appropriately titled, the Observatory debuted a star-studded festival during Southern California’s summer months that brought the best and most iconic acts of funkified, hip hop heat to Queen Mary Park in Long Beach, California. From rap legends like Wu-Tang Clan to the funkadelic sounds of George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic, there was no genre of hip hop left untouched. The rapid selling out of its general admission tickets assured this one day event was destined to be the ultimate ticket for a lit day out in the sun.
Marking the first of our festival experiences with the Observatory that took place away from its known trademarked fairgrounds in the OC, the throwback affair really started before people even reached the venue. With off-site parking being the only option, school buses transported people to and from; which surprisingly generated more positive, nostalgic responses from attendees than I would’ve anticipated.
Upon arrival, the Queen Mary provided a stunning setting fitting for a day meaning to highlight everything that has created the cult culture of West Coast Hip Hop. Scenic views of the Long Beach Harbor, iconic Californian Palm Trees and a city scene in the distance provided a picturesque backdrop for the fest. And whether fans camped out in the scorching heat in front of stages to catch their favorite acts or took a more relaxing sit along the banks of the harbor to enjoy the music; the levels of hype did not fall short depending on their locations. Between some of the freshest threads and the continual crowd noise, the energy felt nothing less than a backyard hip hop house party.