Last year was my family’s first at the Eagle Rock Music Festival—and boy, did we get it wrong.
First of all, I got there along with my daughter (then eight) around 7 p.m.—just in time to see other parents smugly pushing their snoozing face-painted toddlers home. We spent the next two hours wandering packed streets, wincing at the ambient noise, swerving out of the path of an inebriated youngster or two and drooling in front of gourmet food trucks whose lines snaked down the block.
This year, we’re determined to do the festival right. With that in mind, I asked local festival veterans how to navigate Colorado Boulevard on the big night. My inquiry reveals that there’s a whole festival subculture devoted to children. Here’s what we’ll pop in to see, hear and do on Saturday at the music festival:
Channel Your Inner Toddler and Rock Out
For moving to the beat en famille, head to the “Family Stage” at the corner of Merton and Caspar. Here’s who’s playing and when:
4 p.m. Pio Pico
5 p.m. Magic Show with Micah Cover
6 p.m. Ellen and Matt
7 p.m. NINE
8 p.m. Ukulele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere
9 p.m. Hot August Nights—A Neil Diamond Tribute
Dance Your Toms Off in a More Intimate Space
The (2116 Colorado Blvd., between Caspar Ave. and N. Maywood Ave.) will be turning its lobby into a performance space. From 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Bloom students and staff will perform—free!
Earlier in the day (4 p.m. to 6:30 pm) the school will offer two free 20-minute demonstration classes:
• Family Music Class for ages 1 to 5 years old.
• Creative Movement and Dance for ages 4-10 years old.
Family Band Drumming:
Join Bloom’s staff in a surprise venue tucked behind the school. There, drumming teacher Chris Moore—who studied the tabla at CalArts—will lead children and parents in a fun drumming and percussion demonstration and drum circle. (Access to this event is from Caspar Avenue, near the Children's Stage.)
Take a Break and Get Crafty
When the noise and crowds push your kid to meltdown territory, try taking five at (2038 Colorado Blvd.). From 4 to 8 p.m., the art exploration studio will offer fun activities for kids, including button making and magic wand making. (Purple Twig asks that you make a donation to cover material costs.)
Owner Samara Caughey is also inviting families in just to take a breather. “I will be open for the community to take a break if need be, to sit and read a story to their kids in our reading nook or to make something fun,” she tells Patch.
The will also have a craft area—and the staff there will be offering a sneak peek at their fall workshops. Pop by and try your hand at comic book making, playing the ukulele, or molding clay.
Head over to (4972 Eagle Rock Blvd.) and join NELA teenager Julian Axelrod as he regales the bookstore’s crowds with his comedy act. Axelrod—original Saturday Night Live cast member Garrett Morris calls him “a brilliant young comic”—got his start four years ago at Maria Bamford’s monthly comedy show at READ Books and, despite his growing success, he’s still a favorite performer at the Eagle Rock Comedy Fest.
Places to Nosh
Patch blogger Peter Choi recommends taking the kids to (2005 Colorado Boulevard), where you can not only fill up on gourmet burgers, sandwiches and shakes, but hang out on the patio and watch the festival crowds stroll by.
(2136 Colorado Blvd.), which sits right in the heart of the festival, offers nourishment by the slice, and you can grab a seat and take a break from the noise.
The gourmet food trucks will be out in full force—but if they’re 80 people thick, as they were last year, we’ll be popping into our favorite ER haunts instead— (1958 Colorado Blvd.) has a great kids’ menu, (2006 Colorado Blvd.) has amazing chicken tacos, tofu burritos and delectable refried beans. And offers its reliably delicious sandwiches. , too, will be business as usual, with lattes and chocolate milk for all.
Post Your Own Eagle Rock Musical Festival Patch Portrait!
Swing by and visit Eagle Rock Patch at our Festival booth on Colorado Boulevard, adjacent to the “Low End Theory” stage, located between Highland View Avenue and Hermosa Avenue, directly opposite the . We’ll take your family’s photo and post it with your thoughts about the festival on Eagle Rock Patch!