In honor of what would have been Josh Fischel’s 53rd birthday, a feature-length documentary about the last years of his prolific life titled How to Throw Your Own Goodbye Party was released on June 25th, 2022. Before founding the largest food and music street festival that Long Beach, CA had ever seen, called the Music Tastes Good Festival, Fischel was most known for his contributions to music with bands such as Bargain Music and Pepper.
The documentary about his life screened at Richmond International Film Festival, the Portland Film Festival, and the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, and is now available on Vimeo for fans to view. This documentary is the directorial debut for Lauren Coleman who had the unique vantage point of working for Josh Fischel in the very small team responsible for bringing acts like The Specials, Living Colour and De La Soul to the streets of Long Beach in 2016.
The filmmakers say that during the documentary…
…what starts out as a story about a man’s triumphant accomplishment begins to take a turn as the complications of working through the red tape of a city becomes overwhelming and the approach of the festival runs parallel with an unraveling that is both heartbreaking and unnerving, intensified by an urgency that no one could have possibly understood at the time.
Despite the struggles and difficulties, it is hard not to walk away from this film feeling hopeful. Josh Fischel was the kind of person who took big swings and inspired those around him to do the same. He took pride in creating experiences that were unforgettable and, with a documentary like this, his legacy will certainly live on.