South Pasadena’s very own outdoor music and art festival that shuts down city streets and attracts upwards of 15,000 people over a single day returns this Saturday.
The 11th annual Eclectic Music Festival and Arts Crawl returns from 3 to 10 p.m., Saturday, April 27 and will be headlined by the Grammy-nominated Gin Blossoms, who will be performing on the Eclectic’s main stage.
The Gin Blossoms’ fusion of melodic rock, pop, folk and country elements has helped pave the way for the modern rock ‘n’ roll of today, according to festival organizers.
Gin Blossoms’ hits have spanned five different formats, “taking the airwaves by siege,” and held the MTV playlist captive for most of the 90s, according to a press release issued by Eclectic organizers last week. Boasting record sales of more than 10 million, the band continues to burn up the road performing over 120 tour-dates annually.
Laurie Wheeler, South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, explained in the following email to The Review the excitement building for Saturday’s outdoor music festival.
“Have you planned your Saturday in South Pasadena for the 11th Annual Eclectic Music Festival & Art Walk?” Wheeler asked. “This year, there are more activities, more art, more artisans. The streets of South Pasadena will be alive with the sounds of music from 3 – 10 p.m. More than 40 diverse musical acts across 12 stages will certainly keep you busy. There will also be interactive art activities, an Artisans’ Alley (a curated marketplace offering unique vintage and hand-crafted items), wine and beer gardens, food trucks and vendors, as well as many merchants with special events and activities for the entire family.”
Produced by the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with DeepMix Entertainment as well as the City of South Pasadena, The Eclectic is a collaboration with local organizations including Friends of the South Pasadena Library, South Pasadena Music Center & Conservatory, and South Pasadena Arts Council (SPARC). Donations to The Eclectic Friends of the Arts in South Pasadena, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, will help keep the festival free to the public.
Wheeler also said that this year’s event is going to have more of “just about everything” for people to enjoy.
“The Eclectic West Stage starts the day with the local Chicago cover-band, South Pasadena Transit Authority, that has been playing The Eclectic since its first year,” Wheeler said. “L.A.-based Incendio brings their incredible guitar-playing to the stage, which is sure to mesmerize the audience. Dustbowl Revival is an Americana and soul band with members who mash the sounds of New Orleans funk, bluegrass, soul, pre-war blues, and roots music, into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party.”
The Eclectic East Stage features more local and regionally popular music, starting with Total Recall, which is a band comprised of four professional musicians who joined forces to have a great time and recreate songs from no fewer than six decades of musical history, according to Wheeler.
“Local brothers, Daniel and Isaac Griffin, started The Drive in the basement of The Pub and continue to play in South Pasadena,” she said. “Grammy-nominated Teresa James is an L.A. musician that considers herself a blue-collar singer and is teaming up with her band, Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps. The evening finishes with The Main Squeeze, with their blend of soul and hip-hop, funk with rock.”
Throughout South Pasadena, on 11 other stages and venues, music lovers will find a variety of genres to enjoy. Many of these musicians are local favorites, including The David Plenn Band, which is performing on the Library Carnegie Stage; Little Silver Hearts, who appear at the Mission Tile West Stage; and Tisa Adamson, who will sing at Simplee Boba. The Gold Line Stage has a lineup that includes the Elliott Caine Quintet, Dot Cotton, Day Job and the Buzzrites, each of which includes familiar faces to South Pasadena. Mark Hatch & Group 5, another group that has performed at almost every Eclectic, will be bringing their jazz to the South Pasadena Theatre Workshop. Joining them at this stage are the Dave Tull Trio and Chauncey Bowers.
The festival costs about $100,000 to put on, according to officials, and that doesn’t include the fees that are waived or other expenses knowns as “soft costs.”
The Eclectic pays for all the entertainment and derives funds from several sources including the business improvement tax (BIT), chamber trustees, beer and wine sales, sponsors and grants.
The result is that the music fete has become the last free music festival in the San Gabriel Valley of its size featuring name acts like the Gin Blossoms or last year’s headliner, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Brad Colerick, the event’s music director, said this year’s musical line-up is the best ever.
“I am excited about this year’s festival,” Colerick said during an earlier interview. “It’s our 11th year and we keep growing and growing. This is truly an exciting time of year for us. South Pasadena is such a unique community with a diverse population and strong support for the arts. This festival is a highlight for So Pas that features so many other fine artistic endeavors sponsored by community groups and the city throughout the year. Yes, it’s about the music. The art exhibits. The films. But it’s also about our city, South Pasadena. The best place. Don’t believe me, come see for yourself. You’ll see.”
Laurie Wheeler, president and CEO of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, contributed to this article.
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