Malibu Guitar Fest: One Weekend of Hot Licks and Fun Kicks!

All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

The 3rd Annual Malibu Guitar Festival  proved to be as eventful and intimate as in previous years, bringing amazing talent and philanthropy into a beautiful and harmonious nexus with fashion, art and most of all — music. The charities that benefited from this year’s music festival outing were Emily Shane FoundationTheraSurf and Karl LaDue Wodakota Foundation.

Fashion kicked it all off with a special runway benefit curated by Valentina Castellani​ featuring the designs of by rock and roll designer and stylist J. Gerard Design, “Lady J”, BU UV Sun Wear with top Italian couture lines Luisa Spagnoli and Twin Set/Simona Barbieri at CURE Spa Malibu. Afterwards, Malibu Guitar Fest had 4 days to cook up some seriously delicious musical moments!

The main headliners were The Door’s Robby Krieger, Steve Vai and Mick Fleetwood. Each day had a legendary music performer headlining. Thursday’s charity kick-off had Robby Krieger with Daryl Jones, Vince Wilburn Jr., Lili Haydn, and renowned guitarist Waddy Wachtel. Friday was the “Hot Licks” night where the noise got kicked way up with monstrous guitarist Steve Vai, who performed Led Zeppelin covers with Zepparella. Nik West put on a fierce showcase of her high energy Funk that also shook the house. Friday night burned white-hot with the Rock!

Saturday was a full day of music with notable new bands like Hollis Brown, The Soft White Sixties and WRENN. Kenneth Brain and The Buzz Wizards Featuring Cleto Escobedo held down the main stage till Mick Fleetwood Blues band closed out the night. The most memorable quote came when Mick declared that he would have really liked to have been in The Rolling Stones. You never expect to hear such a thing, when the man himself has been a profound success and has his own legendary status with Fleetwood Mac. But such things are relative within the human experience I guess.

Sunday followed with an easy morning brunch featuring Andy Babiuk recounting amazing details of The Rolling Stones’ career with rare insights and obscure knowledge based off of his book Rolling Stones Gear: All the Stones’ Instruments from Stage to Studio. The brunch feature Steve Ferrone’s Coffee Shop Trio, Brooke Halpin and The Tearaways. It was a great mix of food, music and top-notch storytelling that closed out this installment of the Malibu Guitar Fest. I have provide a full photo gallery for your viewing pleasure. Here’s to number 4!


Billy Bennight

About Billy Bennight

Billy Bennight is a writer and photographer with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded into exploring many genres of music, with a keen interest in art, fashion, photography, and writing. He shoots celebrity and red-carpet events for ZUMA Press. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Art Association. His images have been published in The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, Parade, Wall Street Journal, and French Elle, both Vanity Fair and Vanity Fair Italia. He's very engaged in life. You an see more of his work at ZUMA Press at You can follow him on his Facebook page at: and on Instagram and Twitter @billybennight
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