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Meet Cris Herrera of West Coast Weekender

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cris Herrera.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started collecting records in 1998, Music has always been a very important element of my life. I always gravitated towards jazz, funk, obscure and away from the mainstream sounds. Going to L.A regularly to record shop as well as the local SD spots became a weekly thing. After I started to relate less and less with Hip-hop at the end of the 90’s I found that House music was really something that was more of who I was at the time and became passionate about it. Seeing how happy and free people were while dancing motivated me to start learning how to DJ and after curating events. A friend Jay Videna was an established disc jockey at the time and he took me under his wing. We started a company named Lifted and our first event took place at O’le Madrid around 2000. Shortly after we moved to the Onyx Room where we promoted events for about a decade. We were fortunate enough to book talent at the start of some very successful careers such as Kaskade, The Martinez Brothers, Justin Martin to name a few.

After being in downtown for a decade I decided to create my own path. SoulOnbeat was created and our focus has been a wider range of music as well as incorporating art and a deeper underground emphasis into our events. I have been fortunate enough to be a co-founder in a couple brands: Souleil, Art of Sound and most recently West Coast Weekender which was created with three local companies. (The Deep End, SD Union, and I’ll House you). We are placing emphasis into not only creating a boutique festival with great music but give tools, provide informative panels and activities that will hopefully empower individuals to be a more active and productive part of our dance music community. We had over three thousand people last year attend the festival from all parts of the U.S and from different parts of the world.

The goal has always been to do things from the heart and eventually good things follow.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There has always been a fair share of ups and downs the last 18 years.
There will always be obstacles when you do what you love. People will discourage you or not believe in you. The psychological part is big, self-doubt and like in any industry times change and you must be able and willing to adapt as things change. Maintaining a balance has always been key for me.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about West Coast Weekender – what should we know?
Our goal and passion is to bring people together, to give folks a release from the daily grind. Music has always showed us how powerful it can be and I’ve met some amazing individuals thru that common bond. This is the purpose and something we put lots of Love and dedication towards. Something I’m most proud of is consistency, being consistent has been something that people can look towards and expect hopefully for years to come.

With all of the projects that I’m fortunate to be a part of the focus will always be curating quality music events. Contributing to our community and having a positive impact on those around us.

We dedicate events year-round to help benefit our city and community. The homeless outreach which we plan on doing again soon and get more and more support every time. San Diego Youth services is another project we get behind around the holidays. The provide aid to homeless teenagers and are always in need of help and support

Through a couple events last year’s, we were able to raise over 12k to donate to victims of Puerto Rico and Mexico City during their difficult times. all thanks to the support of our dance music community.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?

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