7 Reasons We’re Truckin’ Up To Ventura For The 3rd Annual Skull & Roses Festival

We’re just a few days away from the 3rd annual Skull & Roses festival which will take place April 5-7, and there’s a plethora of reasons to be stoked about it! California has always been the home of the Grateful Dead and one of the best places on earth to be a Dead Head, so a Grateful Dead oriented festival feels oh so right. So why are we so excited!? Let me tell you!



#1 Oteil Burbridge

The loss of Kofi Burbridge was devastating for the world of music, and especially for younger brother and bassist Oteil Burbridge.  Sound-Fix had the opportunity to attend one of two Oteil & Friends pre-party celebrations at Garcia’s prior to the Oteil & Friends show at the Capitol Theatre on December 29th, 2018.  The performance saw John Kadlecik and Oteil Burbridge play through a number of emotional Grateful Dead tunes including “If I Had the World To Give” which ended the set as Oteil rushed off stage in tears without taking a bow.  It wasn’t until a couple months later when the news about Kofi came out that we realized why.  Oteil is a such a phenomenal guy and musician so it’s a big deal for us to see him doing what he loves.  Not to mention the stellar lineup he curated for the Skull & Roses performance!  His band will feature Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band, Melvin Seals & JGB) on keys, John Kadlecik (Further, Dark Star Orchestra) and Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead) on guitar, John Morgan Kimock (Mike Gordon Band) on drums and Weedie Braimah (Weedie Braimah & the Hands of Time) on percussion.  We’re beyond excited to see what this sextat will bring to the table!


#2 Ventura County Fairgrounds

In the world of jam bands, the Ventura County Fairgrounds are perceived as a historical monument!  The Fairgrounds are home to some of Sound-Fix’s favorite live shows including Phish on July 30, 1997 and July 20, 1998 which would become the box-set dubbed Ventura which was released by JEMP Records in June of 2013.  Highlights include monstrous renditions of David Bowie from ’97 and Bathtub Gin from ’87 both clocking in at around 22-minutes!  Furthermore, most Dead Heads remember the tragic diabetic coma Jerry Garcia fell victim to in 1986, but only a handful remember that it happened the day prior to the Grateful Dead’s return to Ventura County Fairgrounds.  Thankfully, Jerry Garcia would recover and the Grateful Dead would come back to Ventura in 1987 for their final performance at the Fairgrounds.


#3 Year of the Pig

It’s also a seldom known fact that some of us here at Sound-Fix were born in the year of the pig.  Simply put, it’s our year and Skull & Roses Festival will be honoring it by making Year of the Pig the theme for Friday night’s hoedown!


#4 SoCal Dead Head Community

The Dead Head Community in Southern California are some of the most welcoming and kind souls in the scene. We can’t to see all of our WinstonsOB Heads!



#5 Views of the Ocean

There’s nothing like camping near the coast of California and Ventura is one of our favorite places to do so. Add a music festival to the mix and you have yourself a grand ole time!


#6 Rebirth Brass Band

This Grammy award winning brass band is a staple to New Orleans but are no strangers to Southern California. They aren’t known for their Grateful Dead covers, but boy can they put on a high energy show! Seeing them on their home turf at the Maple Leaf Bar has always been a highlight of any trip to the Big Easy. We’re excited to see them in the festival setting!


#7 Tie Dyes

We know Dead Heads love tie dyes so we can expect to see the full spectrum of them on the fairgrounds!  I know mine are packed and ready to go. What type of cloths are you tie dying? Tapestries, underwear, aprons, full suits???


If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet to the inaugural Skull & Roses Festival, you can do so by clicking here.  We’ll see all you psychedelic sheep this weekend!







About author

Zach Schwartz

Born and raised in Upstate New York, and residing in Southern California for the past 5 years, Zach has a vast taste and passion for live music. In 2018, Zach graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors degree in Communication. Aside from music journalism, Zach is working hard at his blossoming career as a Lighting Designer. Feel free to contact Zach with any comments, questions, or concerns regarding anything music related!