The Sunset Strip Music Festival rocked the Sunset Strip on Saturday with a focus on hip hop throughout the eight-hour street festival in West Hollywood.
Now in its 6th year, the festival featured headliner Linkin Park on the main stage at 9:30 pm as crowds packed the closure area on Sunset between San Vicente and Doheny.
But when the gates opened at 3 pm, there was plenty of action on the east and west stages, as well as the new addition of the Viper Room stage in the beer garden.
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 included Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Awolnation on the main stage at 6 pm and 7:30 pm respectively.
Adler said there was 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 featured an expanded beer garden area with more food trucks.
The festival also partnered with Ethos Gallery on Melrose Avenue which curated 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.”
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.