At each of several one-day festivals held throughout the country, thousands of revelers unite in an epic clash of pulp, beer, and live music. Armed with a cache of 300,000 tomatoes, participants don protective bathing suits and goggles and hurl the fruit at one another during a two-hour battle. Throughout the afternoon, live music and costume contests offer an entertaining respite from the front lines, as bartenders dispense drafts of beer to attendees older than 21, refueling soldiers' morale before they resign to writing goodbye letters to their produce vendors back home. All tomatoes used during the event are past ripe and already fated for disposal, making the battle an efficient means of tossing them before their cursed transformation into singing Muppets.
Two terrace-section tickets to "Bugs Bunny at the Symphony" on Saturday, August 6, at 8 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine (a $112 value). Four tickets to The Chuck Jones Big Draw on Sunday, August 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the South Coast Collection shopping center in Costa Mesa (a $40 value). 10 Drop In and Draw art sessions at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Orange (up to a $150 value).
The Pacific Festival, a one-day celebration of the best in indie rock, hip-hop, and DJ sets, fills five sound stages with more than 50 performers at Oak Canyon Ranch, an outdoor venue offering up scenic views of Orange County's rolling hillsides. One VIP ticket grants ticketholders a skeleton key to the best things the festival has to offer. The experiential goodies include access to a separate festival entrance, an exclusive viewing area at the main stage and one support stage, and entrance to VIP lounges stuffed with shaded seating, massage services, and kiddie pools filled with caviar. Also included is access to special alcoholic beverages and nonalcoholic beverage services that pour liberally from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
While smartphone apps simulate the thrill of battling produce, Fruit Warriors gives participants a taste of real, produce-fueled combat. Inside a walled-off arena, warriors garbed in eclectic costumes and safety goggles seek out and pelt their rivals with expired fruit, creating a large-scale food fight not seen since the Boston Tea Party. In a post-fight party, rivals put aside their arena battles to dance to the sounds of performing bands and DJs, or laugh at comedians. While playing in food all day may make one hungry, Fruit Warriors comes prepared to settle growling stomachs with a number of food trucks and brews inside the Alcohol Palace.
When The Charity Bomb’s staff purchases pink-, purple-, and blue-dyed cornstarch in bulk, they aren’t preparing to thicken the world’s biggest pan of tie-dyed gravy. Instead, they’re preparing for one of their festive 5K color runs, where runners are greeted at the finish line with cheers and handfuls of colorful powder. Each run, including the organization’s nighttime glow-in-the-dark run for sleep-runners, concludes with a party and benefits charities such as Boy Scout of America.
The Hottest 100 Music Festival paints the weekend in shades of competitive euphony as up to 200 bands, artists, and DJs strive for their place in the top 100. For two days, the scenic grounds of Irvine Lake are saturated in 12 unrelenting hours of melody, as bands representing every genre and necktie technique trade barbed jabs and retorting riffs across eight stages. Headlining Saturday's stable of hungry rock hippos, electro hip-hop trio Hyper Crush exercises irrepressible crunkitude, and the mirror-mesmerizing posse of It Boys! taunts audiences by eating multiple servings of songs without gaining weight. Sunday's supernova includes the hardcore crew of Stick to Your Guns, the brawny pop-punk of A Static Lullaby, and a special set from noted headbangers Bleeding Through, whose thrash metal solicits whiplash and spare change to launder a load of black T-shirts.