This year, Chalice will bring together the likes of Bassnectar, Ludacris, Sizzla, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Curren$y, Pharcyde, Cut Chemist, Thriftworks and many still to be announced for three days of action on July 13, 14 and 15.
The event returns to one of the few places you can actually throw a cannabis event in California: the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds. County fairgrounds are currently the only place in California you can legally host a legal event — everything else is just getting by due to a lack of enforcement. Also, many counties have chosen to opt-out of California’s grand legalization experiment altogether or have fairgrounds surrounded by things like elementary schools. Those kinds of scenarios drop the number of possible locations even further, but who doesn’t love the high desert anyway?!
This year’s music lineup follows in the footsteps of some great shows over the past four incarnations of the event, across Southern California to its current home. Past headliners have included some of the top rap acts on the planet, such as the surviving members of the Wu-Tang Clan and Ice Cube. But a diversity of taste is also no issue at this festival, as top electronic acts like Thievery Corporation and STS9 have also found their place at the top of the billing in years past.
“This year’s Chalice will make history in several ways,” Chalice Founder Doug Dracup said in a statement announcing the first wave of musical acts to be named. “We’ve always been a leader, and we plan to lead by example at Chalice 2018. We know all eyes will be on us, and we have no doubt that we will set the bar for the future of legal cannabis and its relationship with music and arts festivals.”
Much like the tale of the wider cannabis industry as a whole, the compound annual growth rate of Chalice has been insane to watch over the years. In year one, the festival was dedicated to the high-end consumer, with 5,500 attendees. In the second and third years, Chalice was off to the races, building up to 35,000 people in attendance for the event last year. This year, organizers again expect to see a record of about 45,000 attendees. Chalice’s founder Dracup said he has a different vision compared to other cannabis events and music festivals he’s seen over the years, and so far, he’s been able to pair the two flawlessly.
Dracup spoke exclusively with Cannabis Now on how this year’s preparations compared to years prior, given that California’s adult-use marijuana market opened in January.
“It’s like night and day difference for us,” Dracup told Cannabis Now. “We’re navigating in a new frontier and there is a lot of pressure to do this right. We’ve spent years building this event and everything it represents. And just making sure what we’re doing doesn’t compromise any of the festival in is in itself showing people a roadmap to compliance. It’s a nightmare mixed with a blessing.”
Dracup went on to describe watching the event take off into the mainstream festival it is today, which simply happens to have a lot of world-class cannabis.
“We’re expecting fifty to sixty thousand people this year, no exaggeration,” Dracup said. “You know this isn’t just an opportunity for me, brands are bringing their A-game to really be seen and get put on the map. There are people coming from all over the world. For us, it’s just a crazy opportunity to show everybody what a legal cannabis festival looks like.”
The cannabis has always been a big part of the show. Some of the world’s best producers spend nearly the whole year prepping for Chalice. In the next few weeks, they will begin to scale up production for the 45,000 attendees that will all surely be in search of the world’s best marijuana. The team to beat this year will be the Jungle Boys, who took best-in-show last year with their Mimosa #26. Keeping their spot at the top of the mountain will be no easy task, as folks like Alien Labs, Nameless Genetics, Zkittlez, Lemon Tree and Raw Garden are looking to take top prize this year, and nobody is putting it past any of them.
This year’s spread of glass artists is expected to be as top class as ever. Artists already confirmed for the biggest glass spectacle of the summer include DWreck, Mothership, JD Maplesden, Mr. Gray and JAG x SALT.
TELL US, what kind of cannabis events do you like?