Smokin Grooves Fest returns in 2022 as Erykah Badu, Nas, The Roots, Miguel, Jhené Aiko & more stack the bill in downtown LA

Smokin Groves Fest - 2022 lineup

Smokin Grooves Fest //
LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
March 19th, 2022 //

Smookin Grooves is back!

The one-day, neo-soul festival, which found a home at the Queen Mary in Long Beach following a 16-year absence, has unleashed its 2022 lineup and it’s absolutely stacked from top to bottom thanks to promoters Bobby Dee Presents and the legendary Snoop Dogg.

In fact, Smookin Grooves has easily matched what it offered fans in 2018 (read our review here) and 2019 (read our review here) after putting on excellent showings both years sheerly by landing Erykah Badu, Nas, The Roots, Miguel and Jhené Aiko to lead the charge.

But adding The Internet, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Smino, Toro y Moi, SiR, Little Dragon, Hiatus Kaiyote, Musiq Soulchild, India.Arie, Macy Gray, Angie Stone, Leela James, Talib Kweli, Roy Ayers, Dead Prez, Slum Village, Dwele, Joe Kay and more to the roster makes this another must-see production. Check out the poster above for the rest of the scheduled acts.

Known for being the first large-scale music fest in the 90’s to counter rock-centric ones like Lollapalooza by pushing hip-hop, R&B and soul to the forefront of popular music with the help of The Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest, Cypress Hill and more, Smookin Grooves has already established quite a legacy for itself and Badu has certainly played an important role having performed at many of its editions, including the past two. Meanwhile, The Roots, Miguel and Aiko are all familiar names as well after their appearances at the festival in 2018.

It’s also worth mentioning that Smokin Grooves is getting a change of scenery this March as it relocates north to LA State Historic Park, where we caught Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido and more in 2017 for KCRW’s inaugural Skyline festival (read our review here). Tucked against the Chinatown neighborhood of downtown LA, the 32-acre park underwent major renovations several years ago and has long been considered to be an excellent location for live music since its days hosting FYF Fest and HARD’s LA-based events.

So, are you ready to get in on the action? Smokin Grooves will have a presale this Friday, December 3rd at 10 a.m. PT that you can sign up for here, with any remaining tickets available for purchase at 2 p.m. PT during the general sale. GA passes start at $184.99 and go up to $214.99, while GA+ begin at $249.99 before increasing to $269.99. And of course, if you’re 21 years or older and willing to splurge, there’s always VIP for $399.99 before jumping to $424.99 per person.

Look back at our past coverage of Smookin Grooves Fest here.

Smokin Grooves Fest 2019

B and The Hive bring the honey to The Mint

B and The HiveBy Gina Lopez //

B and The Hive //
The Mint – Los Angeles
June 14th, 2017 //

Dreamy. Steamy. Sultry.

B and The Hive brought the honey to The Mint last Wednesday during the third stop of their Visions album release tour. The San Luis Obispo-based band delivered its fresh sound at the historic LA venue, drawing fans into visions of something real, something fierce.

I had a chance to hang with the band before the show. Frontwoman Brianna Lee, bassist Josh Barrett and drummer Hayden Gardener are the kind people who form a band that’s as real as the stories they tell in their lyrics. After soundcheck, I joined them at the vegan café that was a few doors down from The Mint. Sipping on locally-brewed kombucha outside as the sun set overhead, Lee consulted with Barrett and Gardener as they assembled the setlist, taking into consideration the vibe of the crowd. (They must have some good intuition because everyone at The Mint was captivated during their entire set.)

Just like The Mint and the Green Table Cafe blended together along Pico Blvd. to create some eclectic and inviting environs, B and The Hive have shown an appreciation for America’s rich musical past as they develop their style for a new flavor that’s simultaneously sweet and raw, unfiltered and organic. The band, which began its musical odyssey in the Bay Area as Girls + Boys in 2011, has a natural chemistry that’s electric — much like Lee’s Jimi Hendrix-inspired guitar riffs — allowing fans to jump right in whether they’re familiar or not.

B and The Hive

This was the third time B and The Hive were performing at The Mint, which has been a local fixture since 1937 and has seen performances by everyone from Nat King Cole to Macy Gray, from Stevie Wonder to The Wallflowers. A rhythmical mural of Beat Generation poet Charles Bukowski and a startling quote of his that provokes passersbys to contemplation decks the otherwise unassuming, black façade of the venerable club.

We continued to walk down Pico with its vibrantly colored storefronts as the band shared stories of life on the road — about relying on the generosity of others and the relationships they’ve fostered with other independent artists over the years. B and The Hive are all about supporting and collaborating with these folks, particularly at smaller venues like The Mint that value and support the local music scene, so they were sure to reach out to their fellow musicians who were also performing at The Mint on this night to exchange business cards.

Black leather booths and crystal chandeliers with flickering flame bulbs created an intimate atmosphere for B and The Hive’s performance, which featured songs from Visions and their upcoming covers EP. Visions is an invigorating album, with evocative vocals and guitar from Lee. The LP’s relatable lyrics and musical depth draws from the nectar of a rich musical past to create a new and timeless vision, and you can hear more from B and The Hive with shows booked across the greater LA area for the rest of the month in support of Visions.