It’s hard to deny the appeal of an event titled “Drinko De Mayo.” The fact that the event featured both booze and live music was the clincher for this reporter to sign up for attendance, and I’m pleased to announce that the event was a success. This was the first instance of a to-be-annual Drinko De Mayo festival organized by Hangar 24, and the line-up of performers included: Voodoo Glow Skulls, DFL, Codename: Rocky, Odd Robot, Radical Radical, and Taken Days.

The event was held at on May 7, at Irvine’s Intersect plaza, 17877 Von Karman Avenue, where the Hangar 24 brewery is located. I had not been familiar with this location, and apparently neither had Google Maps, as the app directed me to a rather unpopulated parking lot off of Gillette Ave., behind the event. However, after finding a place to park, hopping a gate, and being escorted by security to the proper entrance, I was warmly welcomed by the event’s organizer, Shannon Maxon. [I later learned that the official entryway was directly off of Von Karman Ave. via a fairly nondescript corporate parking lot.] 

When asked about the event’s origin, Maxon said, “[I was] just trying to put something together for Cinco de Mayo and thinking of bands that I actually grew up with that would fit the bill, so I reached out to Voodoo Glow Skulls and then went from there.” The bands that comprised the day’s line-up – which were deliberately Orange County-based bands – varied in their respective genres, but were generally based in punk rock; there was some pop punk, some ska, and some hardcore punk. Despite the hard-edged motif, the attending crowd of several hundred people, including many children, settled nicely into the picnic-like setting.

Photo by Scott Feinblatt

The location, itself, seemed like an odd choice for a punk rock event; Intersect is essentially a corporate plaza. However, given that Hangar 24 is located within the plaza; and given that the plaza is decked out with plenty of lounging space, a patio, an aviary, a chicken coop, a game zone (featuring a bean-bag toss game), etc.; it was certainly a family-friendly environment. Furthermore, most of these families were punk rock families. In some cases, while adults spun, twirled, and shoved within the various mosh circles that developed in front of the stage, children ran in circles around the perimeter of the pit or developed their own little circles to run around in – especially during amusingly themed songs like DFL’s “Pizza Man.”

Maxon discussed past events she and Hangar 24 have hosted. She said, “We had a music series [that started] in March of last year called Music on the Runway. It lasted about six months. We hope to bring it back eventually, and it was also local talent, with all different kinds of bands out here every Saturday night.” In addition to the annual return of Drinko De Mayo, she said, “We’re gonna do a summer concert series as well with a lot of local tribute / cover bands and stuff like that.”

As for what folks can look forward to, Maxon shared a preview of this summer’s eclectic concert series. She said, “[Stylewise, it’s] all over the place, from a Rage Against the Machine tribute band to Redneck Rodeo, which is a local country cover band. We have Tijuana Dogs playing, which is a fun, local [band]. They do a bunch of different covers. We have the Flux Capacitors, so eighties, Back to the Future themed. We’re gonna have a ska festival actually, one Saturday, [which will feature] a bunch of local ska bands. Yeah, just all over the place!”

Photo by Scott Feinblatt

Next Maxon explained what was on tap for the event. “Right now we’re featuring our Chemtrail Cream Ale, which is gonna be an Orange Creamsicle ale.” She then clarified the chemtrail connection. “We try to focus everything around aviation, so a lot of our beer names are focused around aviation, that’s the root of our company. Hanger 24 started in Redlands, in an airplane hanger, and we try to keep that [motif] location wise; we’re close to John Wayne here; our Lake Havasu location is actually in the Havasu airport.” As for the food Hangar 24 was serving up for the day, Maxon said, “Today we just did a special menu to kind of go around Drinko De Mayo with some Mexican food items, but generally our Nashville hot chicken sandwich is our most popular item. It’s a hot fried chicken sandwich, and then we have flat breads and tacos – all chef-inspired, brewery bar food, but with a little kick to it.”

Maxon estimated that attendance for the day would ultimately range from between 600-800 people and pointed out that the area could accommodate 1,500. Furthermore, she indicated that folks didn’t need to wait for special events to visit. To keep up on special events, she encouraged folks to follow the Hangar 24 social media, but beyond that, she pointed out, “We are open seven days a week, so come in for lunch; come in for dinner; come in for a beer; bring your group in. There’s live music five to six days a week if not more, and we do trivia on Thursday nights, so there’s always something going on every night.”

Photo by Scott Feinblatt

All in all, the event featured a terrific blending of elements. There was the family-friendly setting, designer booze, a few local vendors, and the highly energizing music of the bands. The event lasted from 11am 11pm, and ended with a powerhouse performance by the colorful Voodoo Glow Skulls, who complement their soul-bashing chops with colorful theatrics, a warm vibe, and an anthem through which they encourage their fans to heed the call to scream, “Fuck you.”

As the evening wound down, Efrem “The Bean” Schulz, the band’s singer, bade everyone a good evening and ironically warned them: “Be careful walking home in this neighborhood. Remember, this is Irvine.”