Arroyo Seco Weekend promises to share a slice of Pasadena
|June 9, 2017 - Here's the story of the development of the upcoming Arroyo Seco Weekend festival.|
|San Gabriel Valley Tribune|
|The Arroyo Seco Weekend music festival will take place June 24-25 on the Brookside Golf Course next to the iconic Rose Bowl stadium. (Photo by Walt Mancini/Pasadena Star-News)|
The idea for a music festival on Pasadena’s Brookside Golf Course began, like so many other plans, with a beer.
Goldenvoice festival producers, Nic Adler and Paul Tollett, were tailgating during a UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl four years ago when they took a break from their beverages to scan their surroundings.
There among the sycamore trees and golf greens, their vision began to take root.
“This is the perfect place for a festival,” the two men agreed.
Three years of community meetings and compromises later, the music festival slated for June 24-25 is now only two weeks away, with big names like Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Mumford & Sons and Weezer set to perform.
Adler sees the first year as an introduction, not only to fans, but also to the Rose Bowl’s neighbors who have expressed concerns and uncertainty about the large scale event in their backyard.
“We’ve just got to do right by them,” Adler said Thursday during a preview for the media.
And when the fans who may not be familiar with the Arroyo leave the festival later this year, he hopes they’ll take “a little bit of Pasadena with them.”
Aside from choosing a lineup of jam and jazz bands meant to accentuate the slower-paced “picnic in the park” feel of the recreational area, Adler says the festival tries to capture the sights, tastes and feel of the Crown City.
At least 30 percent of the restaurants at Arroyo Seco Weekend come from within the city limits, including local favorites like Dog Haus and Union.
Vroman’s Bookstore, the oldest independent bookstore in Southern California, is curating a series of little libraries throughout the event, stocked with books about the city, its architecture and culture.
They’ve tapped local artists from the Armory Center for the Arts and local flower-covered float builder, Phoenix Decorating Company, to shape the festival’s look.
Kidspace Children’s Museum, the Rose Bowl’s neighbor, is providing a whole line-up of fun activities for children and their parents, including an instrument “petting zoo,” photo booths, a lounge for families with toddlers and music-themed crafts.
One of the first meetings the festival promoter and the Rose Bowl’s leadership set up was with Michael Shanklin, Kidspace’s chief executive office.
“We’re bringing a real inter-generational approach,” Shanklin said. “It’s going to be a pretty spectacular experience.”
The non-profit usually shuts down during the Rose Bowl’s big events, but this time, they’re part of the show, he said.
If the festival proves successful, the promoters hope to grow it organically over the next 10 years. There’s even hope it may someday serve as a summer-time attraction on par with the Rose Parade.
Darryl Dunn, the Rose Bowl’s general manager, sees a future where Pasadena is known for two months: January and June.
Dunn said Goldenvoice’s focus on crafting an experience that’s Pasadena-centric will “surpass any expectations” people have about the festival.
“I think people who come here are going to get a great taste of Pasadena, and I really think they’re going to want to come back and experience this amazing community,” Dunn said.
Both weekend and single-day passes — from $125 to $225 — are still available for Arroyo Seco Weekend on the website. Parking is included, but Goldenvoice is also promoting using the Metro by providing a free water bottle to ticketholders with valid TAP cards.
There’s even some swanky add-ons, like $100 curated picnic baskets designed by some of Southern California’s top chefs, if anyone ready to go all-in.
Jason Henry covers Local Governments and Education Reach the author at email@example.com or follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonMHenry.
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