Greenroom Festival in Yokohama, Japan draws more the 60,000 over two days. Greenroom Festival Hawaii will happen in the islands for the first time on May 31.
Images courtesy of Greenroom Hawaii
After a decade of success in Yokohama with an annual, two-day surf-inspired celebration, it was only a matter of time before the Greenroom Festival crossed the Pacific. On May 31, 2015, the Greenroom Festival Hawaii 2015 will, for the first time, take place at the Waikiki Shell with an all-day festival that celebrates our ocean and beaches through music, art, and education
Two stages at the Shell will host a line-up of local and international musicians including Jake Shimabukuro, Ray Barbee, Def Tech, Makua Rothman, Donavon Frankenreiter, Tommy Guerrero, and Lotus. Artists Heather Brown, Christie Shinn, Kat Reeder, Kris Goto, Nick Kuchar, Susan Wickstrand, The Captain Surfs, and Two Crows will round out the festival with art embellishing the Shell’s expansive lawn.
The heart of the festival beats with music and art but its soul emanates a simple message to love and respect the ocean. The artists become ambassadors who not only share their craft to the public but also their passions for the ocean and the importance of protecting it. With this in mind, Greenroom will also hold two concurrent beach cleanups in partnership with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii on the north and south shores of O‘ahu on May 30, the day before the festival.
“Through Greenroom Festival, through music and art,” says Naoki Kamayachi, owner and organizer of Greenroom Festival, “our aim is to convey ocean, beach lifestyles and culture and maintaining precious beaches for our children.”
Below, we feature a roundup of some of the national headlining musicians. We’ll be rolling out stories on featured local musicians and artists, so check back for updates.
Donovan Frankenreiter (plays 7:10 p.m. at Good Wave Stage)
Before a solo career as the protégé of Jack Johnson, Donavon Frankenreiter began his professional life as a surfer. Originally from Southern California, he landed a sponsorship with Billabong as a young teenager and moved at 14 to Hawai‘i, where he became fast friends with Johnson. Music was always a hobby for Frankenreiter, who began playing guitar in a local rock band called Sunchild during his late teens, but it wasn’t until 2002 that he grew confident enough to try a solo career and signed with Johnson’s burgeoning Brushfire Records. His self-titled album debuted in 2004 with guest appearances by Johnson and G Love and Special Sauce. Today, Frankenreiter’s music is infused with a decidedly more Hawaiian sound, with instructions like slack key guitar, lap steel, and ‘ukulele featured prominently in his new work.
Lotus (plays 8:45 p.m. at Good Wave Stage)
Equal parts instrumental post-rock and electronic dance, Lotus has crafted a unique musical style outside of simple genre limitations. On any given weekend, the band could be the only group with guitars at an all electronic music festival and then the next night crash a traditional rock festival with their dance heavy beats, synths, and samples. Lotus has slowly built a devoted fan base with their infectious energy on stage and have played on some of music’s largest stages including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and Rothbury.
Tommy Guerrero (plays 8 p.m. at Blue Sky Amphitheater)
Once upon a time, the City of San Francisco gave birth to an untamed kid named Tommy Guerrero. From a very young age, San Francisco-born Tommy Guerrero began skateboarding on walls and down hills like no one else. He played in punk rock bands well before he could even get into the clubs legally and was immersed in the skate scene: a member of the Bones Brigade skate team in the ’80s, co-founder of Real Skateboards, the art director for Krooked Skateboarding. Like his graphic design projects, Guerrero’s music is beguilingly simple. He sounds like a guy messing around on his front stoop—and maybe that’s exactly what he is—but the result will touch you down to your toes. His is soul music, made by a street kid raised on Santana and Bill Withers (with more than a little nod to the Clash and Public Enemy in there, too).
Def Tech (plays 5:35 p.m. at Good Wave Stage)
This jawaiian-reggae vocal unit is comprised of Hawai‘i-native Shen and Micro from Japan. The contrasting cultures between Shen (who is fluent in Japanese) and Micro (a natural born surfer) result in three-dimensional music that bumps. Their self-titled debut album became skyrocketed to top of Japan’s national charts with more than 1.5 million copies sold—a rare achievement for a group signed with an indie music label in Japan. Their second album, Lokahi Lani, released last year, also saw immense success on the charts, and both albums have ranked in the top 5 of Japanese national charts.
Ray Barbee (plays 4:20 p.m. at Blue Sky Amphitheatre)
An American skateboarder from San Jose, Ray Barbee was one of the first skateboarders to bring freestyle/flatland tricks to street and perform technical ollie combinations and numerous no comply variations. A music writer and multi-instrumentalist, Barbee his debut EP in 2003, entitled Triumphant Procession, a collection of jazz-influenced instrumental tracks that Barbee produced and engineered at home. His 2005 release, In Full View, also on Galaxia, featured guests appearances by drummers Doug Scharin and Carlos de la Garza (formerly of Reel Big Fish). The eclectic musician is known for his innovative live performances using looping delay pedals and drum machines, along with the guitar, bass guitar, drums, and xylophone.
The 2015 Greenroom Festival Hawaii happens May 31, 2015 from 3–9:30 p.m. at The Waikiki Shell. General admission tickets are $50. For tickets, click HERE.