This event is scheduled June 14-16, 2024.

This year’s official Live Oak artwork was created by North County graphic artist Clayton Benge.

If it’s Father’s Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer, that means local music lovers will again trek to El Chorro Regional Park for the annual Live Oak Music Festival June 14-16.

A venerable Central Coast event that began in 1989 as a KCBX-FM fundraiser, the three-day outdoor festival offers an eclectic, diverse mix of musical genres in a scenic, family-friendly outdoor setting tucked in the hills between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay.

“There are so many wonderful things about Live Oak,” according to Marisa Waddell, the festival’s artistic director as well as programming and content director for KCBX. “But I think the top two reasons people keep coming back are the wide variety of excellent musicians we present and the welcoming community we create.”

Raffle Prize: Every year Dorothy Deis creates an original quilt. You can purchase raffle tickets in the mercantile tent at the festival.

This year’s rendition promises to be as memorable as previous festivals, with solid headliner Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway kicking off Friday night. Tuttle, a California native, says the band’s Grammy-nominated album City of Gold celebrates the land where she grew up, with songs spanning “breakdowns to ballads, fairytales and fiddle tunes, from Yosemite up to the Gold Country and out beyond the mountains.”

Waddell says Tuttle and Golden Highway are stunningly good musicians. “Molly is one of the best bluegrass guitarists in the world, and her singing and songwriting are top-notch, too.”

Ska legend The English Beat, a favorite of many locals, is sure to provide a lively Saturday night set on the KCBX main stage.

The English Beat

“The English Beat are one of the most fun bands around, especially if you like to dance,” Waddell says. “And Dave Wakeling is still in great form, so get ready to sing along with him to your favorite songs like ‘Mirror in the Bathroom,’ ‘Ranking Full Stop,’ and so many others.”

But don’t sleep on compelling regional and local bands like Las Cafeteras from East Los Angeles, who return after an amazing performance at last year’s festival. Saturday night figures to be a knock-out with popular veterans The Young Dubliners hitting the main stage at 5 p.m.

John Craigie

Closing out the 2024 festival on the main stage is John Craigie with the Santa Cruz-based Coffis Brothers as his backing band.

“Seeing a John Craigie show is like experiencing a thoughtful Americana singer-songwriter and stand-up comedian at the same time,” according to Waddell.

The Coffis Brothers

The Coffis Brothers are scheduled for double duty with an intimate Sunday afternoon set in the Beer Garden.

“Seems like the perfect way to end what should be a wonderful weekend of live music,” says Kellen Coffis, co-frontman of the band that is excited to share the stage with Craigie. They haven’t been to Live Oak since it moved to SLO County in 2019, so they’re really looking forward to playing the new venue.

:: Colin Jones

Editor’s Note: Check out music by the artists who are performing this year on Live Oak Music Festival’s 2024 official Spotify playlist.