Sunset Junction Street Fair – New Info

Thanks to Josh Kamensky’s great response in my previous post about open issues regard the Sunset Junction Street Festival, I also got off my butt and picked up the phone to talk to Michael McKinley.

Here are some new things you might want to know:

  • If you are a resident, you can get two free passes per household by showing proof at the Sunset Junction headquarters at the Tsunami Cafe at 4019 Sunset Blvd. Qualifying households must be within 1 block of the festival.

  • Entry to the festival is at 10 gates – one on each side of the street at each intersection.
  • In order to reduce parking congestion in the neighborhood, the festival organizers have arranged parking for the vendors at KCET, which frees up 250 spots in the surrounding neighborhoods (and the vendors were arriving early and leaving late, so that means more room for turnovers).
  • The fee this year is not a suggested donation.
  • The festival organizers and the city are also working on satellite parking lots, possibly at Micheltorena School and LACC, hopefully with shuttles. Even if that doesn’t work out, public transportation may be your best bet. If you don’t want to trek all the way there on the bus or subway, parking elsewhere like Echo Park or Hollywood along Sunset and hopping on a bus for a mile or so should do the trick.

The Sunset Junction Street Festival is Saturday, August 26th & Sunday August 27th. (Personally the lineup isn’t enough to get me out of the house, but deep fried Snickers might do it.)

22 thoughts on “Sunset Junction Street Fair – New Info”

  1. As someone who has produced dozens of street fairs, I have to point out that it is against the law in California to charge admission to a public street (hence the previous years’ “suggested donation”). How is Sunset Junction managing to sidestep this?

  2. Samba00 – if you click over to the original thread, Josh Kamensky said this, “Entrance Fees vs. Donations: the City Attorney’s Office ruled that there are no ordinances prohibiting them from charging admission fees to events.”

    I think the solution to this would be to propose and ordinance that does prohibit it.

  3. Good research and coverage!
    Would be interesting if someone could find out why its been a suggested donation, as I always thought the same thing Samba did…

  4. Would be interesting if someone could find out why its been a suggested donation

    Wasn’t there some scandal about this because they were implying that your money was going to some neighborhood improvement charity but really they were running it for profit?

  5. Interesting. I used to produce the Union Street Fair in S.F., and about 10 years ago we considered charging admission as a way to discourage the local frat boy types from making the Fair into a drunken street party (which was the reputation the fair had developed). The S.F. City attorney’s office told us that we couldn’t charge because it would be a violation of state law. We took their word for it and didn’t research it further.

    I would bet there could be a lawsuit over this if someone wanted to make the effort.

  6. 1 block?!!

    I live a block and a half from Sunset, am I somehow less inconvienced by this street fair than someone who lives 500 feet from me? Trust me, my block is just as full of cars and the music is just as loud inside my house.

  7. Awesome research, Cybele! I actually love The Elected, so the lineup’s totally enough to make me go — Am researching public transit options from Santa Monica —

  8. Sean – I think you should go down and ask for your free tickets, just to see. I’m hoping the KCET thing is gonna make it a little easier. Of course that does nothing to combat the noise-bleed of three stages.

    5000! – as far as I know the money still goes to the youth programs. There’s not much info on the website there and I didn’t get into it with Mr. McKinley. If someone wants to investigate that part of the story, I’d be happy to hear more.

    Samba00 – I never had much of an issue with a ticket price of a couple of bucks – after all, they need to clean the place up when they’re done and it often keeps the more troublesome people out (because they can put up gates). In my 13 years in the ‘hood, I’ve only been there twice. $12 is too much for a photo-op.

    I’m, by no means, against the festival. I just think after 25 years they’d be able to figure out parking solutions and engage the neighborhood that they’re trying to bring together a bit more.

  9. Very good news for us personally in regards to the free entry for nearby residents! We have never minded paying tfor entry (despite the donation misnomer), but we’ll take the free route this year most happily. Ideally, the free status would have extended a bit further to include all those directly affected by the parking and foot traffic of the fair.

  10. my family has worked with michael and the sunset junction since it began nearly 30 years ago. it is only recently that we have decided against it and that is for one main reason: the fair has become more of a hip and social thing than a bridging of the community.
    the community was always the main reason for the event and they were always brought in to help. the local “at-risk youth” would serve as gate monitors or security during the festival and after would reap the benefits (for example)by having their soccer uniforms paid for by sunset junction . that idea has been lost to the growing popularity of the event and the swelling head of mr. mickinley.
    my first sunset junction, i was a month old, and in 24 years only have missed 1 or 2. i no longer plan on attending something that inspired me as youth to do more for my community, when the mission of the festival is now only money based.
    (though i bet it will still be really fun)

  11. seems like the nieghborhood is up in arms this year and with good reason.
    I also live more then 1 block away and have to deal w/all the problems of the street fair.
    We should congragate in front of the VIP area w/paper signs with some sort of statement of how un-junction this year is.
    Thought it was supposed to bring people together not exclude them by making it unafordable or with velvet ropes.
    Makes me sick after living here in L.A. all my life and the los feliz/silverlake area for 20 years.
    Shame on Eric Garcetti for letting this happen!

  12. Oh boo hoo people. Geez, why is that once something finally catches main stream and gets the attention we all thought it deserved to start with that we all start to complain about it?
    I live 2-3 blocks away and I can tell you that the traffic is just as bad on my street as most cars can’t even get anywhere near the festival.
    And $12 for tickets? That’s nothing. When was the last time any of you paid for a festival show for $12? You think it costs nothing to shut down a major street like Sunset? I mean, c’mon, you live in a neighborhood full of $500K condos and $1+M houses and your complaining about a lousy $12 ‘donation’ that is going to go towards cleaning up your very own neighborhood?
    Go ahead, waste your time picketing, I feel sorry of your ass. If you really feel strongly about your neighborhood or bringing people together, set up a group to go around the neighborhood and pick up the trash, clean up some grafitti or get your neighbors to stop leaving used furniture on their front lawns. Do something about it instead of complaining.

  13. I just saw in LA Weekly the minimum suggest donation is $5,not $12. The tickets are $12 but for entry you must pay atleast $5.

  14. What sets this apart from other street fairs? Drinks are expensive, nothing is free once you get in (except the music, but its not exactly a star studded line-up either. I’m sure the bands are happy to get the exposure.) I just don’t see what warrants this admission charge.

    Reagan would be proud.

  15. Go pay your 12 bucks morons and see where Mr. McKinnely is in two weeks. I tell you he will be on vacation spending your cash. But dont take my word or the people i know who used to work with him. Call him up and ask him where the money ends up.oh yeah, and whats up with all those chinese food stands. whats that got to do with this community. i love china town but this is silverlake. different place different culture. just more proof of this party being sold out to the highest bidder.IM GOING AND I AINT PAYING. WHO WANTS TO JOIN AN ORGANIZED GATE CRASHING???

  16. I sent this email to the organizers of SJ Street Fair and a bunch of friends. Most have written the organizers in disgust of this year’s admission charge. Not to mention, the embarrassing idea of the VIP lounge

    — dino dinco

    Feel free to forward it:

    Shame on the organizers (and the sponsors) of Sunset Junction for continuing to use the motto: “To live in harmony with our neighbors,” while charging a mandatory $ 12 – 15 admission fee.

    From the festival’s launch, the Street Fair for many years was a true community event, open to all, regardless of income, and a noble attempt to bring harmony between the gentrifying neighbhorhood with the long established Latino community, including the gangsters who resided there. The gays, the gangsters, the gay gangsters, the hipsters, and plenty of stroller-pushing family units let their collective hair down, ate some grilled corn, got drunk on draft beer, rode carny-staffed rides and listened to indie bands or danced in one of the several dance areas. The admission was typically a “suggested donation” usually around $ 5 – 8, yet a donation still. It was the event where you saw friends you’ve had for over a decade – or met new friends, and their friends. It was the annual event you didn’t think was really possible – gays & heteros of all colors, the poor, the monied, junkies, trannies, 12-steppers, lawyers, couples, the waitresses from Millies, singles, nuns, your ex-boyfriend, your new wife, homegirls making out with nerds, rock stars, kids, gangsters trying to still flex some muscle, movie stars, the guy who hung out in front of Cafe Tropical with the fucked up guitar, people visibly ill from HIV / AIDS, the Silver Lake Walker, that guy who was in the movie you just saw at the Vista….They were all there and you thought, “This is why I’m in Silverlake.”

    Smells like this $ 12 – 15 admission fee is an accurate reflection of how Silver Lake is headed and the organizers of the festival should be looking for another motto. Something like “To live in harmony ONLY with our neighbors who can afford it. But definitely not the rest of you. This is the new Silver Lake. Another ‘hood of exclusion.”

    I’m sending this to the organizers of Sunset Junction. If anyone feels the same, feel free to write them at:

    [email protected]

    Dino Dinco
    A resident of Silver Lake for 13 years


  17. Not only is the entrance a mandatory fee but the city is waiving the fees of $35,000 and the cost of the police. As a resident I have yet to see how he supports youth groups in the area. His take on this is over $100k for himself. How many of you noticed the lack of families this year. So much for encouraging the community to participate. His attitude is screw the community.

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