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With Laguna Woodstock, it’s deja vu all over again

We know what Country Joe McDonald would say about COVID-19.

“Give me  …….” (If you don’t remember, Google it.)

It’s probably what a lot of us would say about COVID-19, because we’re ready to party like it’s 1969.

And the Baby Boomers Club is ready to make that happen.

Laguna Woodstock — that daylong musical frolic outside Clubhouse 2 that pays tribute to the iconic 1969 festival — is returning this year after having been sidelined by COVID-19 in 2020.

On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Boomers promise seven-plus hours of Woodstock-era music, with dancing, food, face painting and all sorts of fun.

“Get out your tie dye,” “dress up,” “look the part” — that’s the advice of members of the Boomers’ Woodstock planning committee.

  • Grooving to 60s music at Laguna Woodstock.
    (Courtesy of David Dearing)

  • One day of peace and music: The 12th annual Laguna Woodstock is coming to the Village on Sept. 18, 2021.
    (Courtesy of David Dearing)

  • Chilling at Laguna Woodstock. It’s BYOE — tents, tarps, chairs, tables, food, drinks and whatever else makes you happy.
    (Courtesy of David Dearing)

  • Dig out your headbands, bell bottoms and fringe: come dressed for the part at Laguna Woodstock.
    (Courtesy of David Dearing)

  • Handmade posters capture the imagination at Laguna Woodstock.
    (Courtesy of David Dearing)

  • Free face painting awaits at Laguna Woodstock.
    (Courtesy of David Dearing)

  • Ruby of Love Saves the Day will once again headline Laguna Woodstock.
    (Courtesy of David Dearing))

  • A group of friends stand together for a photo at a photo booth while dressed as hippies during the annual Laguna Woodstock on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Laguna Woods residents Per Johanson, left, and Ted Yanchulov enjoy a drink together under a tree full of hanging bras during a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival at Laguna Woodstock 2019 on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Laguna Woodstock on Sept. 18 is brought to you by the catalysts of fun, the Boomers’ Woodstock planning committee, from left: Diane Johanson, David Dearing, Linda Weiner and Leon St. Hilaire.
    (Photo by Mark Rabinowitch)



Though COVID-19 hasn’t canceled the fest, at least not as of this printing, it has had a minor effect — the festival this year will take place completely outdoors, with stages set up on the front and the back patio of Clubhouse 2. (In years past, bands would perform in the ballroom of the clubhouse.) Masks are optional.

“We are taking into consideration the health and safety of our residents,” said event chair Diane Johanson. “There is plenty of room on the lawn to spread out and social distance and enjoy the music for those choosing to do so.”

That music will be nonstop, from 2 to 9:30 p.m., alternating between the front and the back patio.

The emphasis this year is on bands that play “classic rock dance music,” Johanson said, rather than on tribute bands, as was the case in 2019, the last time Laguna Woodstock was held before COVID-19. Instead, this year, it’s “music that makes you want to get up and dance.”

The hippie-era cover band Love Saves the Day, back by popular demand, headlines the festival on the front patio, along with other non-Village bands Southland Mega Groove and American Made.

Local fan favorites will be in the back, starting with Band X, followed by The Woods Combo and later The Nomads and Rock of Ages.

“Flower girls” — the adult hippie kind — will wander around to let folks know who’s playing where and when.

Bring plenty of cash to the festival, because there’s a bunch of stuff to spend money on. New this year is a beer and wine garden on the back patio.

If you haven’t come dressed up for the era, no worries — you can get your ’60s accessories right there. Vendors will sell flower headbands, repurposed denim, vintage jewelry and “funky cool clothing,” according to Johanson, who looks very much the expert in “funky cool.”

For those who haven’t brought their own everything, as in food and drinks, the 19 Restaurant will sell burgers, hot dogs, tuna wraps and salads, and Laguna Cafe will have tacos, beans and rice and a turkey sandwich and potato salad combo.

There’s free stuff on the bill too: face painting, a photo booth, ice cream and tarot card readings.

Then there’s the free shuttle bus that will run continuously from 1 to 10 p.m. from the Florence Sylvester Senior Center and the Community Center. Parking at Clubhouse 2 will be limited, event planners say

If you didn’t get your wristband for entry ahead of time, you can get it starting at 8 a.m. on the day of the festival at Clubhouse 2.

Also, traditionally, festival goers bring their gear to the clubhouse grounds to stake out a spot and get an early start in setting up tents, tarps, chairs, tables, etc.

That might even be a good idea, given that in 2019, around 1,200 people attended. That’s a huge jump from the first Laguna Woodstock, held in August 2009. The three-hour festival brought together around 500 people to see one band, according to Woodstock planning committee member Leon St. Hilaire.

Wristbands can still be purchased in advance at Clubhouse 2, on the front patio: today, Thursday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon; Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to noon; and Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Wristbands are $20 per person. If you’re buying them in person, bring cash or a check.

They’re also being sold online through EventBrite, for pickup at any of the above times.

For more information on Laguna Woodstock or on the Baby Boomers Club, go to babyboomersclub.org.


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