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Top Ten Hugs at Phono Del Sol Festival in San Francisco

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Phono Del Sol is hands-down the best festival for giving and getting hugs in San Francisco. Featuring two stages attendees simply need to walk back and forth from one stage to the other every 30 minutes. Between each stage, you’re guaranteed to run into people you know and receive another hug.

Although it’s hard to organize hugs into a top 10 list, it must be done. I fear alienating one friend by saying that another gives better hugs. However, for the sake of honest journalism, here are my top 10 hugs of Phono Del Sol Food and Music Festival 2017.

The Band Ice Cream just put out a new album, and it’s pretty good. Kevin, the lead singer, spotted me at Phono Del Sol, and said, “hi.” I gave him a huge hug, but his effort wasn’t that great, he apologized, “Sorry dude, I’m just so high right now.” I can confirm, he does give good hugs when sober. So I gave him a charity spot on this list.

You may know Cory from his blog Silence Nogood or perhaps his work at Tune-in. He shoots his festivals on a digital point and shoot camera, but I don’t hold that against him. He gives good hugs and for that, he gets the number nine slot.

Not all Writers have good grammar or spelling. Sometimes they just have good ideas and a lot of words on a page. In steps the editor, in this case, it might be Bob. Thank you, Bob, for making music journalism legible and a pleasure to read. Also, thanks for the hug!

Peter runs the hourly rehearsal space at Music City SF, he’s a punk and he knows it. However, he has good taste in music, that can be heard via Music City Radio. Also, his hug earned him a spot on this list.

If you love to see shows as much as I do, you probably have an infatuation with SF bar Amnesia. It’s such a small intimate bar with eclectic shows and amazing sound. The owner Lee is a good guy with good taste in music and not a bad hugger either.

You may know him for his work with Counter Culture and managing bands like Travis Hayes, Abbot Kinney, and Emily Aften. He also works at The Bay Bridged and had a major part in Phono Del Sol. If you see Victor give him a hug and thank him for his work in the music industry.

What if you could have a job in government as well as a major role in the music industry. How cool would that be? Ben has made that his reality, and for that, he gets a hug! He talks the talk and walks the walk and his hugs aren’t so bad either!

Were you at Phono Del Sol? Wasn’t the sound on point? I doubt that is 100% due to the fact that local sound guy Gabe was on the job. However, I think it might be 99% of the reason.

I have been enjoying the music of Bells Atlas for a few years. Their sound is amazing, their hugs are legit, and they put on an amazing show at Phono Del Sol. They almost got the number one hug, but the day was long and one hug out shown theirs.

A strong railing, fence, or divider, can be the difference between an amazing hug and nothing at all. Originally from San Francisco, but relocated to Los Angeles, Thee Oh Sees were not about to let a little bit of metal get in the way of what could be Phono Del Sol’s biggest hug to date. They started their first song, then yelled to the crowd, staff, and security, move that fence!

In a matter of seconds, the stage was filled with jumping, pushing, hugging, and crowd surfing fans. From the inside of the mosh pit, you could see the band. However, if you were not in the huge hug, perhaps you never saw the band perform at all. Despite not seeing them, they sounded amazing, even with 100 fans pushing against their mics, guitars, and drums. (Yes I said drums plural. Thee Oh Sees have two drummers.)

They sounded amazing, put on an epic performance, and provided the atmosphere for Phono Del Sol’s biggest group hug. Thee Oh Sees were amazing to watch, epic to crowd surf to, and after 45 min I still wanted more. When I left the group hug, (AKA Mosh Pit) my shirt was ripped my arms were bruised and my clothes were covered in sweat … not all mine! I guess some people like it rough, though usually a lover, today I didn’t mind it a little rough.

Crowdsurfing to Thee Oh Sees

Phono Del Sol was one amazing day! So many good bands! Y'all killed it! Thanks to Thee Oh Sees for the crowd surfing stage.

Posted by Stefan Aronsen on Sunday, June 18, 2017

Although this year’s lineup with, THEE OH SEES, THE COATHANGERS, JAY SOM, BELLS ATLAS, SEAN HAYES, DUCKWRTH, RAYANA JAY, NEVER YOUNG, MADELINE KENNEY, TINO DRIMA, was legit. You’ll have to wait until next year if you want to experience San Francisco’s best festival for hugs, Phono Del Sol.  See you at the 2018 festival, we can hug it out then!

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Stefan Aronsen

Stefan Aronsen

I am the co-founder of Balanced Breakfast, a meetup for music industry professionals. No, I do not sing or play any instruments ... but I have tried! My passion for music began at 7 when my parents bought me a drum set. I was BAD at drums. So I moved on, joined the school band, and played clarinet. I was BAD at the clarinet. Trying and failing at instruments continued through elementary school and into college. It turns out that while I could recognize good music; I lacked the skill to make it.

Now I'm broke, beautiful, and writing about music for Stuart...