San Bernardino gets a bad rap. Sure, it has some garbage it’s dealing with in regards to its bankruptcy, but it’s dealing with it. As part of my day job, I often work in the city of San Bernardino, and I can tell you, what I see is not the same city that the news sees. I see a city that came together after a terrible terrorist event shook us to our core. I see a city that has brought in new businesses. I see a city that’s developing, including a new airport and shopping centers. I see a city where people are working together to make it better. And I see a city that has begun developing some fantastic festivals.
It’s Not Dead Fest was a blast. Insomniac’s plethora of raves might not be for everyone, but hot damn if they’re not helping bring in some positive ideas of what San Bernardino can offer. And now, Chain Reaction’s owner Andy Serrao is bringing us the High and Low Festival on September 9th. Aptly named for the area, High and Low is partnering with KROQ to present some of the best musical acts I can think of.
Brand New, Death Cab For Cutie, Tegan And Sara, and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness are joined by a dozen other musical acts while punk satire masterminds The Hard Times are bringing in some comedians because why the fuck not?
“Sonically, music has highs and lows, and emotional highs and lows, and with the California topography, we have the mountains, the desert and the ocean,” says Serrao. “The name High & Low fit for us, with the vision for where we wanted to go. Great music has got me through every aspect of my life. With every high and every low, came a soundtrack in my head that defined my life. This festival is a good representation of artists that do this for myself, and tons of other people.”
Maybe so, but, as a local resident who grew up next door to San Bernardino, I can tell you, this festival is itself a high in a city that’s experienced more than its share of lows. Let’s fucking do this.