Festival Pass is a newsletter that lands in your inbox every week. But during the high season you also get bonus spending! Subscribe now.

With the news of the reopening of stadiums and theme parks to the public and the increasing number of vaccines, I hope we will be back at concerts together in the coming months.

Southern California venues and festivals remain pretty quiet, but I imagine we’ll find out more soon.

At least Ohana keeps showing up in ads on my Instagram feed. This festival, which takes place on Orange County’s beachfront, announced last June that it would be postponed to September 2021. Headliners are still listed as Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder on the Ohana website.

Beyond Southern California, however, we see more signs of festival life. The Las Vegas Fest Life is Beautiful dropped its lineup for its September event this week, with Billie Eilish, Green Day and Tame Impala topping the bill. Insomniac just announced a new two-day techno festival, Skyline, due to take place over Memorial Day weekend in Orlando.

In other festival news this week, we recorded another episode of Can’t Feel the Heat, which explores Daft Punk’s connections with Coachella, from the duo’s 2006 epic to many of the acts associated with Daft Punk, who played. I also had to talk about the time when Nile Rodgers pulled up a chair in the press tent at Coachella 2018 and was with the Southern California News Group team. It was fantastic. Listen!

Last but not least, thanks to everyone for sharing some of their favorite weird 80s videos, especially reader Ryan.

Enjoy the surreal with Genesis (these political puppets were up to date and from a show called “Spitting Image”), Devo, Peter Gabriel, Men Without Hats, Van Halen (this one would get a disclaimer if he was on Disney + would be), Men At Work, ABC, The Bangles and Culture Club. There are so many really bizarre ones out there that this doesn’t even start to scratch the surface.

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley’s side project Soul Station will release his first album “Now and Then” on March 19th. (Photo by Keith Leroux)

Dynasty of the soul

Long before Kiss switched rock and roll with makeup and pyro, front man Paul Stanley visited artists like Temptations and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Now his side project, Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, will release his first album on March 19th. Stanley spoke to Kelli Skye Fadroski about music, COVID-19 and more.

Todd Rundgren, shown here in 2014, is taking a virtual tour of California dates around San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. (File Photo by Amy Harris / Invision / AP)

Hello it’s todd

Todd Rundgren was on tour in the middle of the pandemic. His virtual shows are in a different “city” every night, and he’s coming to California next week. Here you can find out how the virtual tour works and why Rundgren believes this is the new normal.

French producer and electronic music artist CloZee will headline Anaheim’s Drive-In OC’s City National Grove with special guests LSDREAM and Rome in Silver on April 17th. (Photo by Pierre Beteille)

Back to real life

While we don’t see regular concerts in Southern California yet, the range of drive-in shows in Anaheim continues to grow. The newest artist announced is French producer and electronic music artist CloZee. Find out how to get tickets.

The legendary Parisian dance duo Daft Punk announced a split after their founding 28 years ago. The duo is shown here at the Coachella Valley Music and Art Music Festival on April 29, 2006 in Indio, California. (File Photo by Karl Walter / Getty Images)

Goodbye French robots

This week, on the unofficial Coachella podcast, Can’t Feel the Heat, we’re talking about Daft Punk’s breakup and the impact the duo had on the festival and music as a whole. Check it out on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Darone Sassounian DJing at Love in 2019. (Photo by Jamie Rosenberg)

On a mission

Here is a fascinating story by the writer Liz Ohanesian. Montebello DJ Darone Sassounian has tracked rare Armenian music from the 70s and 80s around the world for years and is now sharing those finds on a new compilation.

Get the Festival Pass on your Inbox weekly.