After a highly anticipated 4-year-wait, the Smokin Grooves Festival is set to return on March 19! This neo-soul one-day festival will take place at the LA State Historic Park. After the captivating acts of H.E.R and Lauryn Hill at the 2018 Grooves festival, this year’s lineup has another impressive array of talent. Enjoy the smooth and classic sounds of Erykah Badu, The Roots, Miguel, Jhene Aiko, India Aire, Talib Kweli, Sir, Nas, Smino, and many other talented artists! Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Smokin Grooves’ official website: smokinggroovesfestival.com.
Although the Smokin Grooves festival appears to be your average festival its history is unique and proves otherwise. The first Groove’s festival occurred in 1996. It was the first amphitheater tour in which the majority of the headliners were rooted in hip-hop. This was in direct response to the famous rock-heavy festival Lollapalooza. Smokin Grooves was the first festival to provide a space where R&B, funk, reggae, hip-hop, and soul artists could perform together. The festival featured legends like the Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, and The Roots. This wasn’t just a historic event but an entertaining one! The festival only lasted for a couple of years and toured in cities such as Columbus, Ohio, and Park City, Utah. This festival would go on to have a huge impact on the growth and public perspective of hip-hop.
As a music lover, I was immediately drawn in by the lineup. With such a talented roster I was curious to learn more about the festival and its history. Interestingly enough there isn’t a lot of information readily available. This puzzled me because festivals like these have played a major role in social change. Festivals with such an important history deserve more recognition. I hope the current organizers make Smokin Grooves a yearly event and continue to honor the legacy and history of its origin.