Presented by Goldenvoice, the inaugural weekend known as Arroyo Seco on the grounds adjacent to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena was one for the rock and roll history books. The line-up for both days was immense with nearly every genre represented in the mix. The headliners on Saturday included Alabama Shakes, Broken Social Scene and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Sunday’s line-up included The Shins, Weezer and Mumford & Sons.
With the temperature reaching the low 90s, the music festival was the right way to start the summer. The social media pages were blowing up as the food hashtags from L.A.’s finest restaurants included featured restaurants Genghis Cohen, Petty Cash and Tikifish. The festival also include craft beer and featured Pasadena and L.A. chefs including Bruce Kalman of Union Pasadena, Ray Garcia from Broken Spanish and Walter Matzke of Repubique.
There were a few scattered art installations including large inflated bags of air used in large shipping containers, an open pavilion that resembled an Escher drawing meant to be an intimate location to share and exchange ideas. A large inflated red tube stretched across the Arroyo Seco River under the footbridges that connected the two halves of the venue. The Red Line installation represents the ecological problem humans are facing and the environmental ‘red line’ we are slowly approaching. Doron Gazit’s bio-neutral installation has spanned the globe making appearances in Dubai, Tokyo and the Dead Sea.
The merchandise table was busy with souvenir hopefuls while the Record Store was packed with aficionados looking for a good score. Local artists and artisans brought crafts and services to offer the festival goers. Parking was a breeze and free water refill stations were always nearby for replenishing. The guests brought their own blankets and beach chairs and camped out for their coveted spots at all three stages that varied in shape and design. The Willow Stage was a circular tent with floor seating perfect for shade under the beating Sun. The Sycamore stage was on the northern part of the venue with a narrow corridor making every spot the perfect viewing location. The large stage, The Oaks, was on the southern tip of the field and had a panoramic view of the Pasadena hillsides and the neighboring Rose Bowl.
The fans all thanked the artists with loud roars and wished the night would never end. The first Arroyo Seco was a tremendous hit with locals as they await for next year’s follow-up. The bar has been set and the crowd hopes for another home run for the sequel in 12 months time.
Saturday, June 24th
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Broken Social Scene
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
The Bennie Maupin Ensemble
Sunday, June 25th
Mumford & Sons
Fitz & The Tantrums
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real Galactic
Jamtown featuring G. Love, Donavon Frankenreiter & Cisco Adler