Live music is back in San Diego—and now it’s on four wheels.
Ever since the pandemic shuttered music venues, local bands and concertgoers have been itching for a taste of live music. The solution? A souped-up, double-decker bus that doubles as a mobile music venue.
Wonderbus is a traveling concert that will feature local artists and reach audiences all across the county. The top level of the bus features a full stage ready for any gig, with lights, a drum set, and complete sound system. The bottom level hosts a VIP section with tables, TVs, and a cocktail bar.
Wonderbus will tour three days a week through different communities, featuring artists of all genres of music, including rock, reggae, pop, and country. It sticks around for a few songs before it heads off to the next street. The appeal of the bus as a mobile entertainment venue is that it can take off at any minute—specifically if the crowds don’t follow the COVID-safe rules required for the experience.
Wonderbus’s mysterious nature is part of the fun. Every weekend, it changes route and features different bands that you won’t know until that week. No neighborhood will get left behind—the party machine will be rolling from South Bay to North and East County and everywhere in between.
“It's really about taking it to all different communities and bringing the gift of music,” says Ernie Hahn, one of the cofounders. “Live music is a gift, and our plan is to make sure everybody can see it and hear it.”
Hahn, who is also chairman of the board for Wonderfront Festival, says the bus will stick around after the pandemic and become a part of the Wonderfront experience (which he hopes can take place in November). There are plans to use the music bus for more pop-up concerts, events, and even a festival-like experience with several buses.
“The entertainment and fun that can happen with it is pretty endless,” Hahn says. “I think it’s going to be a whole new way of how people look at live entertainment and spontaneity.”