Section art by Stephanie Torres.

Dive Bar 

1ST PLACE

Rudder Room
2929 Ocean Drive, Oxnard
805-985-6096, www.facebook.com/The-Rudder-Room-250268401727/

READER RECOMMENDED

Sans Souci Cocktail Lounge
21 S. Chestnut St., Ventura
805-643-4539, sans-lounge.edan.io

Star Lounge
343 E. Main St. Ventura
805-648-4709, star-lounge-ventura.edan.io

EDITOR’S PICKS | BEST PLACE FOR COMMUNITY-BASED ENTERTAINMENT | Oxnard Performing Arts Center 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard 805-385-8147 www.oxnardperformingarts.com www.wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/opacc/events/ The Oxnard Performing Arts Center (OPAC) is a venue that has garnered strong public support, becoming an icon in the community for providing a space for just about any kind of gathering. Everything from top music acts and theatre performances to important public hearings and teen support meetings to horror movie nights have been hosted here. The fact that the one-time Performing Arts and Convention Center (PACC) survived economic hardship and uncertainty to be reborn as the OPAC was welcomed by Ventura County residents far and wide. Originally founded with community-based funding in 1968, the OPAC was nearly forced to close in 2019 when staff at the city of Oxnard eyed budget shortfalls and looming costs . . . but no way forward to keep the venue’s door open. In response, the community rallied, insisting a solution was out there. Locally based entertainment and concert promoter Sterling Venue Ventures — which also operates The Canyon in Agoura Hills — later got involved. While some were wary at first, the relationship has proved to be both harmonious and profitable. Today, Sterling works with the nonprofit arm of OPAC to help keep a variety of programming (brought in both by Sterling and other sources) at the Oxnard facility. Through the direction and support of the local board of directors and staff, OPAC is thriving today in new ways. The public can attend major concerns and events as well as art classes, cultural events and programs like the Dia de los Muertos festival and Close to Home, an exploration of the homeless crisis in Oxnard funded through California Humanities that aims to build a community conversation through photography, film and storytelling. OPAC continues to be a truly relevant cultural center for the residents of Oxnard, while also providing a venue for events attended by the wider community. During the pandemic, it became a natural location for food distribution, pandemic testing and vaccinations, while also acting as a gathering place for teens and community members of all ages. In the coming weeks, OPAC will host a festival for people over age 50, Zumba classes, a concert by singing legend Dionne Warwick, and comedy performances by Louis C.K and George Lopez. This venue is truly fulfilling its mission of being an “incubator for innovation and creativity” as well as a “cultural anchor” for the entire county. — Kimberly Rivers. Pictured: Anderson .Paak performing at the PACC in November 2018. Photo by Michael Cabezas

Event DJ

1ST PLACE

Bruce Barrios, Bruce Barrios Productions
805-658-7565, www.brucebarrios.com

READER RECOMMENDED

DJ Honey
805-625-3378
www.facebook.com/djhoneyyy/

Bouquet Sound
855-968-7351, www.bouquetsound.com

Gay Bar

1ST PLACE

Paddy’s Bar and Lounge
2 W. Main St., Ventura
805-652-1071, paddysventura.com

READER RECOMMENDED

The Tavern
211 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura
805-643-3264, thetavernvta.com

Happy Hour

1ST PLACE

VenTiki Lounge and Lanai
701 E. Main St., Ventura
805-667-8887, www.ventikiloungeandlanai.com

READER RECOMMENDED

Yolanda’s
2753 E. Main St., Ventura, 805-643-2700; 86 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo, 805-389-9922; 1601 S. Victoria Ave. (Seabridge), Oxnard, 805-985-1340; 590 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley, 805-306-9933
www.yolandasmexicancafe.com

Rumfish Y Vino
34 N. Palm St., Ventura
805-667-9288, www.rumfishyvinoventura.com

Local Band

1ST PLACE

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
www.bbvd.com

READER RECOMMENDED

Teresa Russell
www.teresarussell.com

Shawn Jones
shawnjonesmusic.com

Music Festival

1ST PLACE

Surf Rodeo
surfrodeo.org

READER RECOMMENDED

Ventura Music Festival
venturamusicfestival.org

Ojai Music Festival
www.ojaifestival.org

Place For Live Music

1ST PLACE

Majestic Ventura Theater
26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura
805-653-0721, www.venturatheater.net

READER RECOMMENDED

Surfer’s Point Live at Ventura County Fairgrounds
10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura
www.surferspointlive.com

Libbey Bowl
210 S. Signal St., Ojai
805-272-3881, libbeybowl.org

Radio Personality

1ST PLACE

Rico and Mambo
Q95.9 FM
www.q959.fm/on-air/rico-and-mambo

READER RECOMMENDED

Dave Daniels
KHAY 100.7 FM
www.khay.com/shows/morning-show/

DJ J-Scratch
KOCP 104.7 FM
oldschool1047.com/on-air/j-scratch

Radio Station

1ST PLACE

100.7 KHAY FM
www.khay.com

READER RECOMMENDED

88.3 KCLU FM
www.kclu.org

95.1 KBBY FM
www.951kbby.com

Recording Studio

1ST PLACE

Music Freqs
2180 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo
805-322-4496, www.musicfreqs.com

READER RECOMMENDED

Mountain Dog Musicworks
485 N. Ventura Ave., Oak View
805-649-8500, www.mountaindogmusic.com

Castaway 7 Studios
4737 Ortega St., Ventura
805-654-8273, www.castaway7.com

Sports Bar

1ST PLACE

Cronies Sports Grill
2855 Johnson Drive, Ventura
805-650-6026, cronies.com

READER RECOMMENDED

Social Tap
1105 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
805-667-8485, socialtapeatery.com

Victoria Pub and Grill
1413 S. Victoria Ave., Suite F, Ventura
805-650-0060, www.victoriapubandgrill.com

Theater Company

1ST PLACE

Rubicon Theatre Company
1006 E. Main St., Ventura
805-667-2900, rubicontheatre.org

READER RECOMMENDED

Santa Paula Theater Center
125 South 7th St., Santa Paula
805-525-4645, www.santapaulatheatercenter.org

Ventura Improv Company
venturaimprov.com