The second annual Same Same But Different Festival took place on September 20th – 21st at Lake Perris, California. While there were many similarities to last year’s inaugural festival, it would make more sense to call this year’s fest Same Same But Very Different. In only its second year, the festival has made tremendous changes that have propelled a very fun time to an even better two days. So what makes this festival so special?
One of the biggest changes this year was the location of the festival. Although last year was also at Lake Perris, this year’s festival grounds was right on the beach. Not only did this give you tremendous views of the mountains, but it also allowed you to hang down by the water, float while you listened to a nearby show or DJ, and cool off when the sun got too hot. Another fun highlight of the lake was the float party that took place during Saturday afternoon. Attendees dragged inflatable floats of all kinds down to the lake to hang out with one another and enjoy the DJs. It was a great place to layout and work on your tan while you met other wonderful festival goers.
Another big change this year was the amount of art that was placed into the grounds. While last year’s art seemed a bit sparse, this year had fun things to look at in every directions. Multiple artists had painted pictures around the festival that you could walk around and enjoy. There were also multiple art installations that took on a whole new life at night. The most iconic was the tree that had leafs for people to weave through and an upstairs for people to climb.
One of our favorite parts about SSBD is the people. Being such a small festival really allows it’s attendees to express themselves in whichever way they please. There were multiple notable characters that I noticed around the festival including an old fashion shoe salesman selling shoes to people at shows, a walking tour guide giving free walking tours, a chef fist pumping his rolling pin at different shows, a mailman delivering handwritten notes to those passing by, and for the second year in a row: the guy dancing with corn. I had first seen the guy dancing with corn last year, and at this point he is a staple of the festival. Perhaps they need a mascot? That’s one of the great things about SSBD. Since it’s only two years old, attendees can really take part in shaping the festival into whatever they want it to be. If you want to be the guy that dances with corn every year then go ahead! The SSBD family will welcome you with open arms.
Lastly, the size of the festival makes for an incredibly nice experience logistically. You never have to worry about finding your friends or walking back to your campsite. Finding your friends is as easy as going to the only show playing at the moment, and a walk back to the camp only takes a few minutes. Also, at too many festivals have we had to stand far back to have enough room to breathe at a show. At SSBD you can go right up to the front and have all the room in the world. You’re getting to see incredible music talent in an intimate beach setting. Does it get better than that? One of my favorite parts about the festival is how well you get to know other people. If you tell someone that you’ll see them at the next show, you actually see them at the next show. It also has quite a community feel as everyone migrates from one stage to the next between shows at night. By the end of the weekend you have a whole new group of friends.
Now that we’ve talked about our favorite parts of the festival, its only fair to include the negative too. And we definitely have a huge negative….. SSBD is too short! Two days is just not enough time for the amount of fun you’re having. But oh well, baby steps. Perhaps it’ll be a three day festival in the future. We can only hope. With an extremely successful year two now in the books, we can’t wait to see what year three holds!