Five Unique Things: Cal Jam 17

This weekend, one of the best rock lineups of the year takes place at Cal Jam 17 in San Bernardino at Glen Helen Park.

Even better — the music takes place on one day — Saturday, October 7, instead of having to try and catch all these acts across a whole weekend. See some of the dopest rock bands in the world, and get home in time for some football.

In an overcrowded festival landscape, Cal Jam 17 is doing a couple of things to separate itself from the rest of the pack. Here are five unique things. ALSO: HEAD TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR SET TIMES FROM CAL JAM 17.

Wolf Alice The Echo
Wolf Alice at The Echo, courtesy of Carl Pocket

Strength of the undercard

I am excited to see the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, both of which I saw at my first music festival, Outside Lands 2012. But that declaration undersells the strength of the festival in its smaller print.

British rockers Wolf Alice just released one of 2017’s best records, and Cal Jam 17 marks their first U.S. festival performance since it dropped. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher is performing what is his only scheduled SoCal date since starting his solo career. Nashville grunge outfit Bully will be two weeks away from dropping their much-anticipated sophomore record when they take the stage. Then there’s my latest favorite Starcrawler, a young garage punk band from LA who are sure to rise to the occasion given their penchant for batshit crazy performances. These bands are a nice contrast to the festival-ready acts like Royal Blood, Cage the Elephant, and The Kills, who have high-energy festival performances down to a science.

Dave Grohl curated this shit

Foo Fighters frontman is responsible for curating Cal Jam 17, and everything that dude touches turns to gold — he’s the Midas of rock n roll. It will mark the band’s first U.S. performance since releasing their new album Concrete and Gold, and I would bet money he joins Queens of the Stone Age at least for a song as a drummer during their set. There will also be a Foo Fighters Rock N Roll Museum on site. Grohl has always been a purveyor of happiness, and I feel like we need it now more than ever.

Cal Jam 17 map

There’s a water park

Festival attendees will have access to twin water slides. The weather in San Bernardino is expected to be in the low 90s, meaning a run down the slides during the day could be just what the doctor ordered in between slamming shots and an epic live music experience. For those camping all weekend, they’ll be right next to the water slides.

Gibson’s Recording Studio

Also on-site will be the Gibson Vinyl Studio, where festival attendees will be able to cut their own vinyl record. I actually got to check this out at a party Anderson Paak played for MasterCard earlier in the year. My roommate Jordan cut a record with one of the technicians running the thing playing drums. There will be a backing band available to play along with anyone who wants to record.


The value

Tickets to Cal Jam 17 are extremely reasonable priced. One-day general admission tickets are $99.00 + fees. If you went to a Foo Fighters concert and wanted to get floor tickets at The Forum for instance, you’re probably paying at least that much. You get to see them as well as more than a dozen other high-quality live acts, it’s pretty amazing. The camping experience sold out pretty quickly for this festival, so one-day GA passes are all that’s available. You don’t need a camping pass to have access to all the cool stuff like the water park and carnival rides (yes, there’s carnival rides!).