West Hollywood ready to take over Los Angeles with music festival
West Hollywoodâs Sunset Strip is home to some of Los Angelesâ most historic music venues. The Roxy Theatre, Key Club, Whisky-A-Go-Go and numerous others are all synonymous with Los Angelesâ consistently vibrant music scene.
Bands such as Led Zeppelin, Guns Nâ Roses, Black Sabbath and many others have all graced the venuesâ stages and wandered the street that was once infamous for the debauched rockstar nightlife.
The Sunset Strip, while still an extremely well-known hub for Los Angeles nightlife, entertainment and tourism, has somewhat diminished in popularity since the rock ânâ roll heydays of the â60s, â70s and â80s, as areas like Silverlake and Echo Park have begun to dominate the cityâs growing alternative and indie rock music scene.
In an effort to both revitalize the area and pay homage to the Sunset Strip community, the boulevard is now home to a new tradition, the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Now in its third year, the festival will draw thousands of fans to West Hollywood for a three-day celebration of music and entertainment beginning Aug. 26.
For the festival, the area of Sunset Boulevard between Doheny Drive and San Vincente will be closed off to allow for multiple stages, street vendors and concertgoers. More than 90 bands are set to perform, including Lonely Drunks Club, Yeti, Reason to Rebel and Cast of Kings.
As if the Sunset Stripâs namesake alone does not bring back enough memories, the festivalâs headliners include experienced and legendary performers like Slash and The Smashing Pumpkins. The former top hat-wearing Guns Nâ Roses guitarist, has been designated as this yearâs festival honoree, joining the likes of award winner and Sunset Strip veteran Ozzy Osborne and Sunset Strip club owners Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and Elmer Valentine.
In addition to performing on the outdoor stage Saturday night, Slash will be honored for his musical legacy at the House of Blues Thursday. The event includes a Slash tribute act and the city of West Hollywood has declared that Aug. 26 will be known as âSlash Day.â
Following Slash on the outdoor stage is the world-renowned â90s alternative rock group, The Smashing Pumpkins. With multiple hit albums and numerous popular songs, front man and founder Billy Corgan and his band were extremely influential in the â90s alternative rock scene. Although Corgan is the only remaining original member of the band, as the lineup has shifted numerous times throughout the bandâs lifetime, The Smashing Pumpkins will likely be a huge draw for festival attendees.
The band is currently touring behind its newest album Teargarden by Kaleidyscope Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor, but will undoubtedly perform classic songs off albums such as Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
Although the festivalâs headliners are veterans of the music industry, the festival will feature younger bands of varying genres and styles. Rappers Common and Kid Cudi will perform on the second outdoor stage immediately preceding The Smashing Pumpkinsâ performance.
Other outdoor-stage performers include the alternative rock group Neon Trees, indie-pop kids Saint Motel, pop-rapper Travie McCoy and the over-the-top glam-rock act Steel Panther.
While the aforementioned artists will all perform at one of the two main outdoor stages, Â located on opposite ends of the Strip, there will also be numerous free shows within the established music venues, Â with tickets costing $20-30. Local reggae-rock group Tomorrows Bad Seeds will play at The Roxy from 11 p.m. to midnight Saturday night and rock group The Shrill will take the stage at 10:30 p.m. at Whisky-A-Go-Go down the street.
This combination of four well-known indoor music venues, outdoor stages, food, merchandise and beer vendors is what sets the Sunset Strip Music Festival apart from other exclusively outdoor festivals.
A general admission ticket costs $49.50 in advance and $65 at the gate and allows entry for all of Saturdayâs shows, which include the outdoor stages as well as free access to the Roxy, Key Club, Cat Club and Whisky-A-Go-Go. Individual tickets are also being sold for Thursday and Fridayâs shows.
The festival and its diverse lineup of bands, young and old, will undoubtedly keep the vibrant and wild spirit of the Sunset Strip alive.