Music promoter Josh Fischel, founder of the Music Tastes Good Festival, died Thursday of liver failure, festival organizers confirmed. Fischel, a long-time Southern California music promoter and session musician, died at age 47.
Fischel’s family and friends knew he was sick, but were not aware of the extremity of his condition. His disease progressed rapidly over the past week.
Music Tastes Good Festival debuted in Long Beach, CA last weekend. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Fischel said his festival marked the full realization of a “years-long” dream.
The festival’s diverse lineup included headliners such as Living Colour, Squeeze, The Specials, and De La Soul, along with appetizing undercards Deltron 3030, Clipping, Warpaint, and Open Mike Eagle.
Mark Magdaleno, a spokesman for Music Tastes Good, confirmed Fischel’s death via the Long Beach Press-Telegram via email.
“Josh truly was a gentle giant, tall in frame and tall in presence. … The last memory for me is hugging him at the end of The Specials’ set last Saturday [at Music Tastes Good] and thanking him for bringing this gift to our city.”
Prior to his career as a promoter, Fischel actively participated in the Long Beach music scene, playing in bands Bargain Music and Josh Fischel & the Fiction. He further performed as a session musician with acts including Fishbone, Pearl Jam and the Black Eyed Peas.
Co-Music Tastes Good promoter Jon Halperin spoke with the Times following his friend’s death.
“It’s absolutely beautiful and poetic that he got to see this through,” Halperin said.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia shared a similarly elegetic sentiment.
“It’s a sad day for the city, but it’s also a sad day for people who cared about music and creativity in Long Beach,” Garcia said.