The back to back performances of Jessie Reyez, Teyana Taylor and Kehlani to close out the second day of this year’s Sol Blume Festival hit like a cathartic wave across the crowds packing the fest grounds inside Sacramento’s Discovery Park..
Having built the area’s premier R&B music festival, Sol Blume has grown over the recent years into a largescale music event bringing in a solidly curated lineup of performers while retaining an emphasis on Sacramento and Northern California area artists. From the positive and inclusive vibes that settle across the event grounds to the interactive art installations providing plenty to do in addition to the music, 2023 marked Sol Blume’s fourth festival, and aside from being one of the overall best events that we attend each year, it’s clear that the intention and planning behind the festival are making each year smoother and better than each previous year.
Three dozen artists performed across two stages this year – with alternating set times so that you could watch each performer and then move to the next stage to see the next play with only a couple minutes of downtime between each. Sol Blume’s lineup reads like a well curated playlist of R&B and hip – with Brent Faiyaz, Ella Mai, Kehlani (a Northern California native), Jessie Reyez, and Teyana Taylor (who mentioned her love for Sacramento from when her husband played basketball with the Kings) making up the top tiers of artists. However the other notable performers included Pink Sweat$, Chlöe, Mariah The Scientist, Amber Mark, Joey Bada$$ and Sabrina Claudio.
Art installations inviting attendees to participate in their environment were also spread out throughout the Discovery Park grounds, including 25’ tall colorful bubbles, live painting displays by local artists, a butterfly room in where guests could let butterflies land on them, and a vendor area where attendees could take part in workshops.
While Sol Blume has taken place in the Spring months in the past, this year’s historic river levels caused the park area to flood, forcing the festival to reschedule to the Summer months. And while Day 1 was hot until the sun finally set, Day 2 had cloud coverage that made for an unseasonably cool day in Sacramento. The festival has also given thought to and addressed past issues, making the entire event run a lot more seamlessly this year. Without a doubt those going with the VIP ticket upgrades benefited the most, with lots of shaded cushioned lounge seating throughout their area, food and drink areas with shorter lines, reserved space right in front of the stages, and quick easy back and forth access between the two stage areas.
Some of the most memorable performances were P-Lo bringing out Ray J who performed his hit “One Wish” while walking out amidst the crowd along the stage catwalk; Vallejo’s La Russell giving an absolutely arresting set which included continuing to rap onstage when his mic cut out – rhyming aloud over the electric piano and saxophone; the crowd singing along to Coco Jones so loud that it echoed into the air; Amber Mark doing a soulful high energy cover of Sisqo’s “Thong Song”; and Teyana Taylor performing her “The Last Rose Petal 2” choreographed multilevel multimedia set which tops the list of the most memorable Sol Blume performances in the fest’s history.
With a strong emphasis on creating a positive, inclusive and communal atmosphere filled with art and an all killer lineup of performers, Sol Blume is constantly on our list for the best events of the year, and 2023’s was no exception.
- Sol Blume Music Festival
- Discovery Park, Sacramento