International Surf Music Month

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International Surf Music Month
International Surf Music Month

June brings us International Surf Music Month, transporting us back to the California beaches of the 1960s. Close your eyes, and you can almost feel the salty breeze. It's a time when optimism soared, fueled by a generation fascinated by space exploration and eager to explore new sounds with electronic instruments. Surf music embodies this spirit of hope and vitality. But don't limit yourself to the Beach Boys; International Surf Music Month is a global celebration. From concerts to discussions, merchandise sales to discovering emerging talents worldwide, it's a vibrant event orchestrated by an international network of surf bands and music aficionados.

Origins and Purpose

  • Inception: International Surf Music Month was likely established by surf music enthusiasts, fans, and musicians to celebrate the genre's legacy and promote its continued relevance and popularity.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of International Surf Music Month is to:
    • Celebrate the rich history and cultural significance of surf music, which originated in the early 1960s as a distinctive genre inspired by the surfing lifestyle, beach culture, and instrumental rock music of the time.
    • Pay tribute to iconic surf musicians, bands, and pioneers who helped shape and popularize surf music, including artists like Dick Dale, The Beach Boys, The Ventures, and The Surfaris.
    • Showcase contemporary surf music artists and bands, as well as emerging talent, who continue to keep the surf music tradition alive and vibrant with their innovative sounds and performances.

Celebrations and Activities

  1. Surf Music Concerts: Music venues, clubs, and beachside bars may host surf music concerts, gigs, or festivals featuring live performances by surf bands and musicians, providing opportunities for fans to enjoy the energetic sounds of surf music.
  2. Beach Parties and Events: Beach communities and surf clubs may organize beach parties, bonfires, or luaus with live surf music performances, surfing demonstrations, and other beachside activities to celebrate International Surf Music Month.
  3. Surf Music Radio Shows: Radio stations, particularly those specializing in retro or niche music genres, may dedicate programming to surf music during International Surf Music Month, playing classic hits and new releases for listeners to enjoy.
  4. Surf Music Film Screenings: Film screenings of classic surf movies and documentaries about surf music history, culture, and artists may be organized at theaters, community centers, or outdoor venues, offering insights into the roots and evolution of surf music.
  5. Surf Music Workshops: Music schools, community centers, or libraries may host workshops, masterclasses, or panel discussions about surf music, its distinctive sound, instrumentation, and techniques, led by experienced surf musicians and industry professionals.

Surf Music Characteristics and Influences

  1. Instrumental Sound: Surf music is characterized by its distinctive instrumental sound, featuring electric guitars with reverb, tremolo, and surf-inspired melodies, as well as driving rhythms, twangy basslines, and energetic drumming.
  2. Surf Culture Themes: Surf music often evokes themes of beach culture, surfing lifestyle, and outdoor adventures, with song titles, lyrics, and album artwork reflecting imagery of waves, surfboards, beaches, and sunsets.
  3. Influence of Surf Rock Bands: Surf music draws inspiration from early rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and instrumental rock genres, as well as the surf rock bands of the 1960s, such as The Beach Boys, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, The Ventures, and The Surfaris.
  4. Variety of Surf Music Subgenres: While surf music is often associated with instrumental surf rock, the genre encompasses a diverse range of subgenres and styles, including vocal surf, garage surf, psychedelic surf, and modern surf revival, each with its own unique sound and influences.
  5. Global Appeal: Surf music has a global appeal and influence, with surf bands and musicians emerging from various regions around the world, including California, Australia, Japan, Brazil, and Europe, contributing to the genre's continued evolution and popularity.

Preservation and Promotion of Surf Music

  1. Surf Music Festivals: Annual surf music festivals, such as the Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Italy, the Surf Guitar 101 Convention in California, and the Pipeline Instrumental Music Festival in Australia, showcase surf bands and musicians from around the world, fostering community and camaraderie among surf music enthusiasts.
  2. Surf Music Record Labels: Independent record labels specializing in surf music, such as Double Crown Records, Dionysus Records, and Sundazed Music, play a crucial role in preserving and promoting surf music through album releases, reissues, and compilations.
  3. Surf Music Websites and Publications: Online platforms, forums, and publications dedicated to surf music, such as and Pipeline Magazine, provide resources, news, reviews, and discussions for surf music fans, collectors, and musicians.
  4. Surf Music Societies and Clubs: Surf music societies, fan clubs, and online communities bring together enthusiasts, collectors, and musicians to share their passion for surf music, organize events, and support the preservation and appreciation of the genre.
  5. Surf Music Heritage Projects: Initiatives to preserve and document surf music history, culture, and artifacts, such as the Surf Music Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, contribute to the legacy and recognition of surf music as an important cultural heritage.


International Surf Music Month is a time to celebrate the exhilarating sounds and vibrant culture of surf music, paying tribute to its rich history, iconic artists, and enduring influence on popular music. Whether you're catching a surf music concert, hitting the waves, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach with your favorite surf tunes, International Surf Music Month is a time to embrace the spirit of surf culture and enjoy the infectious melodies and rhythms of surf music. So grab your surfboard, crank up the reverb, and let the waves of surf music carry you away on a sonic adventure!