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.