Cloud 9 press

Slightly Stoopid to get small in Mexico


As one of the most popular jam-rock bands around, San Diego’s Slightly Stoopid has performed for large crowds at some of the biggest music festivals and venues in the world, including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Japan’s Summer Sonic.

But when this seven-man group from Ocean Beach debuts its Closer to the Sun festival Dec. 16-20 on a beach on the Mexican Riviera, the goal will be to shrink — rather than expand — their audience.

To be held at the 496-room Now Sapphire Resort & Spa in Puerto Morelos, near Cancun, Closer will limit attendance to less than 1,000 people. Slightly Stoopid, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary, will perform three times during the four-day fete, including a special unplugged concert. The band selected all the other performers for the lineup, which includes such musical pals as G. Love & Special Sauce, Citizen Cope, Dirty Heads and reggae mainstays Steel Pulse.

“Doing destination-events is a lot of fun. It’s cool for the band and for our fans to hang out in an intimate setting,” said singer-guitarist Miles Doughty. He is the co-founder of Slightly Stoopid, which on July 26 will become the only band to ever headline for seven consecutive years at the nearly 20,000-capacity Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego’s largest concert venue. (Tickets for the Sleep Train show are available online.)

Tickets for Closer went on sale Tuesday and the four-day fete is being billed as an “all-inclusive concert vacation.” The Sapphire Resort, which has an AAA Four Diamond rating, boasts a golf course, seven restaurants, five bars and lounges, multiple swimming pools and more.

The four-day fete is being produced by Cloud 9 Adventures, a Florida company that in January will launch its 13th annual Jam Cruise. Slightly Stoopid saxophonist Karl Denson has performed at most editions of Jam Cruise with his band, Tiny Universe. He will perform as a special guest at Closer in December.

In January, Slightly Stoopid, headlined the fourth annual Jungle Jam festival in Costa Rica. Its success led directly to the launching of Closer to the Sun.

“Aside from doing cruises, we hadn’t done an event abroad where we were the main headliner abroad,” Doughty said. “Costa Rica was really cool to do and just opened things up. So when this event in Mexico became available to do, we jumped on the opportunity. We got to select all the bands and there will be surfing, swimming, golf, fishing…”

The cost to attend the festival in Mexico isn’t cheap. Prices start at $1,299 per person, not including airfare.

But Slightly Stoopid is confident fans will welcome the opportunity to combine a tropical vacation with music by some of their favorite bands.

“As you experience different things throughout your career, it’s important to reinvent yourselves a little when you can,” Doughty said.

“Ideally, we can build this event, make it something real special and continue to do it annually, with a bunch of different bands. The worst that can happen is the whole thing bombs, and no one shows up! Either way, it will be awesome.”