Sammy Festival!

Sammy Hagar has announced that he will launch a Southern California music, food, and car festival this October.

“It’s going to be called the High Tide Music Festival. It will take place Oct. 6, right by the ocean, in Huntington Beach,” Hagar tells The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The vibe at High Tide will be similar to Hagar’s annual, star-studded birthday jam sessions in Cabo San Lucas at his Cabo Wabo Cantina, which he opened in 1990 by performing with Van Halen. Similar, but outdoors, and bigger and more musically diverse.

“High Tide will be the same kind of thing I do in Cabo,” Hagar explained. “My friends will come jam with me and we’ll have a bunch of unannounced guests. We’ll also have an eclectic group of bands – SoCal reggae, folk, country, some rock and more. But it’s not a festival you can pin down as a classic-rock or alternative-rock fest. No. This is a World Music festival.”

Sammy continues: “It’s so crazy because it will also have a car show. All my friends and band members have colorful cars, as do I, so we’ll put them on display. And we’ll have a lot of food stands with food from my restaurants. So the festival will smell, taste and look like me, which is really a shame! But it has to have something with an identity.”

The lineup and ticket on-sale date for High Tide have not yet been announced.

Hagar had initially hoped to hold the event in Cabo San Lucas and met last year with representatives from Live Nation and AEG, the world’s two largest concert and festival producers. But logistics and finances proved too daunting to stage the event in that Mexican coastal city.

“The budget was up to $600,000 before I even had any talent booked to perform,” Hagar said. “So, then, we had idea to do it in America on the day before I leave for my annual October birthday gig in Cabo.”

High Tide will be held from 10 AM to 10 PM. and Hagar wants the event to grow organically. He said he’ll be happy whether the festival draws 8,000 people or 50,000. His approach to it is on a gut instinct basis, not as a business undertaking (“although my partners are,” he noted).

“The city of Huntington Beach is totally behind the festival,” Hagar enthused. “I won’t let bands play for an hour or an hour and a half. Everyone will play for 35 minutes. I’ll play longer, at the end, because I’ll have a lot of special guests, just like I do in Cabo. People will be able to jump in the ocean and still hear the music.

“When it’s done, I want people to think: ‘Hell, I want to do that again!’ My contribution will be the music, the food, the drinks, and what people experience. I think anybody who doesn’t like the beach has a problem!”

Read more at The San Diego Union-Tribune.