‘Tiki Oasis’ 19 ‘Catch the New Wave’ Lands on San Diego Shores August 7-August 11, 2019

Poolside at the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Photo by Billy Bennight

The Tiki gods have smiled on San Diego and Southern California once again as Otto and Baby Doe von Strohiem‘s “Tiki Oasis“–the world’s largest Tiki event!–rolls around for the 19th consecutive time, bringing a Luau, music, art, merchants, fashion, cocktails, pool fun, and all the very best of Tiki Culture, together at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mission Valley.

Celebrating all things Tiki, this year’s theme for Tiki Oasis is “Catch the New Wave” with its nod to ’80s New Wave, Surf and Exotica. Given the mid-summer stirrings of Pele and Moai, the kick-off of Tiki Oasis is Wednesday, August 7, 2019, from 5 p.m. – Midnight at the Bali Hai, Shelter Island, which should ignite the fires that will rock attendees at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for the remaining days through Sunday, August 11, 2019.

You can revel in my previous posting “Three Days Of The Tiki: Tiki Oasis 15 “Yesterday’s Future Today” with full photo gallery to dazzle the eyes if you’d like by clicking the link. You can just begin to imagine the fearless amount of frolicking that is to come at this year’s Tiki Oasis!

Wahines and kahunas will frolic and play with a ton of fun and interesting highlighted Tiki-centric.activities for four uninterrupted days of rum-soaked in paradise. The party will abound and music will be everywhere, focusing on New Wave and Second Wave Surf music of Jon and the Night Riders, the Insect Surfers, the Surf Punks, and OC Punks Agent Orange for a totally rad music extravaganza!

Charles Phoenix, center, and fans, at his presentation of classic Americana at Tiki Oasis 2018. Photo by Billy Bennight.

On Thursday, for a separate fee, there is the “Hanalei Luau,” complete with a full Polynesian Floorshow. Presented by Trader Vic’s and Phillips Distilling, and hosted by the Crowne Plaza hotel, the Hanalei Luau includes a welcome cocktail featuring the Original 1944 Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, and a buffet feast with such luau classics as a whole roasted suckling Kahlua Pig, Mahi Mahi, Glazed Chicken, and more–all the while being taken back to the shores of Waikiki while watching the Moto Nehenehe Polynesian Dance show.

Also on Thursday, attendees will be treated to a live Tiki Talk Show hosted by JDobbs, which includes audience participation. Become a Tiki star or watch and learn more about the stars of the Tiki scene on  Tiki Oasis TV  where anything goes and all of those who attend can get involved with the program. Expect hijinks, mischief, and laughs. Become a Tiki star or watch and learn more about the stars of the Tiki scene on  Tiki Oasis TV.

Friday at Tiki Oasis will have a couple of options. There’s a sing-a-long with the Mayor of Kaunakakai, King Kukulele. And Judd Finkelstein (Judd’s Hill Winery) and Gerald Casale (yes, that Jerry Casale, of Devo–proprietor of The Fifty By Fifty) will have a special event Wine Appreciation with vintners where you’ll gain knowledge and confidence about wine and wine pairing with your favorite food, and hear an engaging story or two.

King Kukulele. Photo courtesy of Tiki Oasis.

Saturday is one big bawler day of activities starting with “Totally Tubular,” an intro of New Wave music for kids. (This means parents get to be off and be adults for a while.) Then there’s behind-the-scenes of how “The Rock of the ‘80s” birthed “Back to the Beach.” Host Bo Bennett will investigate the reinterpretation of the “Surf Flick” and explore elements of ’60s kitsch, suburban punk and other odd underground festish-y things that relaunched Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon as New Wave hipster icons, making “Back to the Beach” the cult movie classic we’ve all come to love.

Saturday will continue with “New Wave Ukulele Strum,” so pull your ukulele out for a rad strum-a-long, hosted by Alison Marae, wahine style. A talk with widely published surf guitarist, John Blair, will offer a fully realized back story on modern Surf music. Author Sven Kirsten will illuminate his experience with Tiki Culture and his own evolution from Punk to Urban Archeologist on All Things Tiki. Lastly, and most importantly, will be a screening of “The Rise and Fall of the Clash,” followed by a Q&A by Executive Producer Vanessa S. D’Amelio.

Sunday will be a day of Tiki heaven by the pool or drinking at the bar with friends and new acquaintances. But if you want to blow it out big, there is one last revelry with the annual “Tiki Oasis Ukulele Jam!” You’ll find King Kukulele hosting this annual jam session in the atrium of the Crowne Plaza Hotel where wahines and kahunas can swing or mingle–or “Swingle”–the whole week for Tiki Oasis fun and mischief!

Get Yer Tickets Here!

Given there is a host of activities for this busy week of celebration, you’ll find a list of attractions from symposiums, Tiki activities and musical artist below:


There will be live music performed by various artist throughout Tiki Oasis with featuring Agent Orange, Debora Iyall of Romeo Void, Drifting Sand, Gerald Casale of Devo, Jesika von Rabbit, Joey & The Showmen, Jon & the Nightriders, Josie Cotton, Los Freneticos, Los Tiki Phantoms, MongoLounge, Par Avion, Pearl Harbour, The Fleshtones, The Greasy Gills, The Hula Girls, The Insect Surfers, The Intoxicats, The New Waves, The Outta Sites, The Surfrajettes, Tikitronic, Tikiyaki Orchestra, and Tim Polecat.


• Yoga w/Kiki Lovelace
• Hale Akamai: Foam Tiki and Panel Carvings w/Eric Hainline
• Tiki on Black Paper w/Eric October
• Tiki Tasting (x2)
• Hula


• Wake up w/ El Vez
• Sing-Along w/King Kukulele
• Lalani Hawaiian Village Waikiki w/ Randy Avon
• Ninety Years of Classic San Diego Tiki w/Martin S Lindsay
• Field Guide to Tiki Decorating LIVE! w/Trader Brandon & Typhoon Tommy
• Walt Disney Discovers Tiki w/David “Dr. Skipper” Marley
• Hula with D’Lovely
• Ingredients Matter: Guide to Drinking Well
• Wine Appreciation with vintners Judd and Jerry (Gerald Casale of Devo)
• Enid Collins Inspired Treasure Box w/Nicole Pacheco
• Create a World of Tiki in your Home Bar w/Pam Kueber
• Secret Diaries of a Clifton’s Cafeteria Camera Girl w/Miriam & Victoria Caldwell
• Tiki Oasis Storytelling w/Karen Finlay
• Mai Tai Roa A’e! w/Jeff “Beachbum” Berry


• “Back to the Beach” w/Bo Bennett
• New Wave Ukulele Strum &Sing-Along w/Alison Marae
• Totally Tubular- Intro to New Wave Music for Kids w/Joshua Levin
• Liquid Sky – ’80s Make-Up Class
• Conversation with John Blair of Jon & The Nightriders
• Riffs & Spiffs: How to Craft Your Own Cocktail w/Tiki LindyFrom • Punk to Urban Archeologist: My Tiki Evolution w/Sven Kirsten
• Tiki Oasis Book Club w/Karen Finlay
• The Rise and Fall of the Clash w/Vanessa S. D’Amelio
• Tiki Pairing
• The Home Bar Guide To Tropical Cocktails w/Kelly “Hiphipahula” Reilly & “Trader” Tom Morgan


• Tiki Tot Tour w/King Kukulele
• Las Vegasland w/Charles Phoenix
• Kiddie Cocktail w/Stuart Sandler
• Uke Jam w/King Kukulele

Crowne Plaza San Diego, Mission Valley (formerly The Hanalei Hotel) – 2270 Hotel Circle North, San Diego – (619) 297- 1101

Bali Hai Restaurant – 2230 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106 – (619) 222-1181

For more event and information, check out the full schedule.

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 http://zuma.press/srp.html?SRCH=Billy+Bennight&timerange=&viewType=&PDS=&PAGENO=1 You can follow him on his Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/billybennightartist and on Instagram and Twitter @billybennight
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