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Eagle Rock's Night of Music

Organizers tighten up at 14th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival—but the crowd peacefully proves yet again that this show is more about them than anything else.

Music fans—both two-legged and four-legged—flocked to Colorado Boulevard Saturday, Oct. 6, to enjoy a night of music under the stars at the 14th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival. Boasting 70-plus performers—bands, solo artists and DJ’s—on 11 different stages, the event delivered on all fronts: Excellent organization, crisp sound mixes, an upbeat crowd and impassioned, audience-pleasing performances—including a quirky, unscheduled, guerrilla presentation by a Highland Park marching band (see video)—on a warm and humid autumn night.

While attendance figures are sketchy at best, longtime Festival devotees observed that the turnout seemed lighter than last year’s purported 100,000-plus attendees.

From the onset, audience members were directed through a lengthy turnstile reminiscent of crowd control measures used at Disneyland. While signs indicated that a $10 donation was expected, the mostly young staffers assured participants that it was not mandatory (but that they were grateful for the funds).

Security staff checked some suspect bags arbitrarily before allowing singled out fans to gain entrance. What they were looking for is anyone’s guess. It certainly wasn’t a particular herbal supplement that accompanies most rock music festivals—and which is an olfactory reality of the Eagle Rock Music Festival. Observing the massive crowd in front of the Stone’s Throw Stage just east of Highland View Avenue, it appeared as if smoke bombs were going off throughout the audience.

The Los Angeles Police Department was present and low-key, maintaining the considerable influx of residents and visitors who remained peaceful throughout the evening.

With a range of sonic options—from what sounded like the love call of a colossal bullfrog echoing off of the Dublab Stage (courtesy of the Dublab DJ) to the campy and charismatic rock of Imperial Teen—the musical choices were plentiful and eclectic.

But the Eagle Rock Music Festival has always been more about the crowd. Multi-ethnic, cross-generational, traditional, edgy and progressive, it is a musical mirror of an inclusive and fascinating community.  

Stay tuned for our video on the ERMF.

Jason October 08, 2012 at 02:32 PM
"While signs indicated that a $10 donation was expected, the mostly young staffers assured participants that it was not mandatory (but that they were grateful for the funds.)" In the entire time that I was in the line to get in, I only saw two people give any money before they went in. I was surprised at how few people were contributing. Kind of sad. And, yes, definitely a smaller turn-out than last year!
Nicole Charky October 08, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I thought the turnout and crowd were great! It felt very relaxed and peaceful.
Jason October 08, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Oh, yeah, don't get me wrong: I'm not saying the smaller crowd was a bad thing! I'm just disappointed that more people didn't support the festival financially.
bbkong October 08, 2012 at 04:10 PM
I enjoyed it! The bands were better this year and the kids looked like they were having a great time. There was a bottleneck problem with the bus parked sideways in front of Camilo's. Some cooperation from that business and the bus would have solved it. It did serve to point out that there's not a lot for kids to do in this burg.
Dan Kimpel October 08, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I entered with a contingent of people, all of whom donated to this worthy cause. Perhaps it was us setting an example, but those behind us also contributed.
Jason October 09, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Kind of sad that this post celebrating what is supposed to be Eagle Rock's "big night" has generated only 6 comments, including this one, while the endless posts about MMDs and political bickering generate several times that amount. It would be nice for people to actually focus on some positives every now and then.
Dan Kimpel October 10, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Amen.
ERMom October 14, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I share the view of several other longtime residents that the current ER Music Festival is too similar to Sunset Junction and most first-time visitors to our town will not "get" what our community is about. I miss the early days of the festival, when it was truly diverse and an array of musical acts would perform inside local businesses. It was so interesting and gave the visitor a sense of place while giving them an intriguing and memorable experience. Today's big stages could be anywhere. Plus, I heard some local businesses complain that the food trucks were competing for their customers and should at least have different offerings than our current restaurant selection here.
Jason October 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Any follow-up from the festival organizers in terms of attendance estimates and/or total donations collected?

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