The Sunset Strip Music Festival returns to West Hollywood a little earlier this summer as headliner Linkin Park jets off to Japan for the start of their Asian tour the following week.
Now in its 6th year, the three-day music extravaganza culminates with the street festival next Saturday, August 3 on Sunset Boulevard between San Vicente and Doheny from 3-11 pm. Other events will be held Thursday and Friday nights at Sunset Strip venues.
Nic Adler, festival co-producer and owner of The Roxy, said one of the festival’s goals was to celebrate the strip’s past while being current and featuring the biggest bands possible.
“Linkin Park was always on our list of bands that we wanted to play the festival, but the timing hasn’t worked out,” Adler said. “If you think that Ozzie started on the strip, Motley Crew started on the strip, Slash started on the strip. With Linkin Park, Brad the guitar player was a door guy at On The Rox at The Roxy. The other guys were in four or five bands that played the Whiskey and The Roxy. It’s great when it comes together. They are a band that started on the strip and ended up being one of the biggest touring bands in the world.”
Other big name bands on the bill include Awolnation and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Adler said he was excited about some of unknown bands that are scheduled to perform at the festival.
“Bands like Sabrosa Purr are going to be playing over at the outdoor Viper Stage, which is a new stage for us,” Adler said. “Normally the Viper Room hasn’t had a presence inside the closure. This year we have brought them in to host a stage in the outdoor beer garden. It will be a smaller stage than the two main festival stages. Another one of my favorite LA bands is Terraplane Sun who opened the Twilight Concert Series in Santa Monica this year.”
Adler said there would be a larger presence of hip hop performers this year.
“Growing up in the 90s, I was one of those hip hop kids,” he said. “This year we are having Warren G, Masta Ace, Wale, Logic, and Asher Roth. I’ve always associated myself with seeing a lot of hip hop on the strip. It’s not something you automatically think about, but we have had every single hip hop performer come through the strip. If you look at Kendrick Lamar or J Cole, all those guys did all their early shows on the strip. The strip has this unknown history with hip hop, and I think we’re really celebrating that this year with a whole stage for hip hop, plus a lot of hip hop at The Roxy.”
This year’s street festival will feature an expanded beer garden area with more food trucks.
Adler said the festival had partnered with Ethos Gallery on Melrose Avenue which would curate all the festival’s art.
Adler said this year’s charity component was with nonprofit disaster relief organization Music For Relief.
“They go in and help with housing, rebuilding, and clean water when there are disasters,” he said. “They’re putting on an ongoing soccer game throughout the day. That’s something we haven’t done before.”
Another first time initiative for the festival – chalk art.
“We are going to have buckets of chalk that will be all up and down the street and hopefully festival goers fill in the entire sunset strip with chalk art,” Adler said. “Anyone who wants to grab a piece of chalk can sit down on the ground; I think the whole street will turn into its own art installation.”
Other street festival performers include Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh, Finch, Street Drum Corps, Orgy, Bizarre Ride Ft. Fatlip & Slimkid3, 7Lions, Hunter Valentine, Julien-K, Andy Clockwise, Egyptian Lover, Smile Empty Soul, Stolen Babies, UpRooted, The Active Set, The Dreaming, Sad Robot, The last Internationale, Battle Tapes, The Diamond Light, Girl on Fire, Raheem Cohen, and more.
General admission street festival tickets are $79. VIP tickets are $145.
For more information, visit www.sunsetstripmusicfestival.com.