Sunset Junction – This Weekend!

Sunset Junction Street Fair is this weekend, Saturday from 10 AM to 11 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM.

There are some changes this year. First, the venue has moved slightly. It will now straddle Santa Monica Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. (the true Sunset Junction) which means that it doesn’t go as far east on Sunset. Moving down the street a bit may help ease some of the traffic congestion and allow more businesses to remain open to regular customers (instead of those that must pay the mandatory entrance fee of $15).


(those little flags on the map don’t mean anything, it was just an easy way to generate a map with the endpoints of the fair.)

The entrance fee has gone up this year to $15 at the gate ($12 if your order in advance).

See full map here.

The lineup of musical acts include:

Saturday: Crosby Tyler, Renee Dawson, Ritmo Flamenco, DJ Sloe Poke, Division Day, Bobby Matos, The Lions, The Pity Party, Raks Majnoun, Breakestra, The Parson Red Heads, Renaissance, Sy Smith, Culver City Dub Collective, The Emotions, Medusa, The Broken West, Deniece Williams, Jesse de la Pena, Sea Wolf, Morris Day & The Time, Autolux, Blonde Redhead, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals.

Sunday: Cuahtemoc, Tawny Ellis, Mesmera, Eric Coleman, Eskimohunter, Vilma Diaz, Balfete, The Movies, Thelma Jones, Conjunto Jardin, The Airbone Toxic Event, Millie Jackson, Rocky Dawuni, The Aggrolites, The O’Jays, Cheb i Sabbah, The Bronx, Hot Hot Heat, Buzzcocks, She Wants Revenge.

(Please check the schedule as these are likely subject to change.)

According to a “suggest a story” contribution (which I’m not able to verify … leave some contact info folks!) the LAPD, Sunset Junction organizers, Silverlake Neighborhood Council Silver Lake Improvement Association and Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance have gotten together to discuss the issues of the festival. Further, there will be the opportunity for the public to attend a “post mortem” meeting in September to air new or unaddressed grievances about the festival.

The Festival is a bit more proactive this year about informing attendees about parking options (LACC with a shuttle) and the public transportation, but still hasn’t made any mention on their website about parking respectfully in the neighborhoods (or anything to dissuade folks from that). See those suggestions on their site

See last year’s bitching about the festival: Open Issues & New Info. You may now commence the bitching in this thread … or of course celebrate your excitement about this year’s festival.

19 thoughts on “Sunset Junction – This Weekend!”

  1. Yes here we go again.
    Most people I have spoken to who live in this part of the l.a. area and have been walking down to SSJ for the many years it has been going on are simply sick of it and not attending.
    More House Party’s yippee!!!

    I believe if they had buckets for a donation more people would gladly cough up the 15 bucks if it were suggested donation.
    The Mandatory thing gets panties in a wad.
    But what the hell do I know.

    Should be interesting to see what neighbors are out on street.
    I’ll be at plenty of local functions taking place around not in the festival.

    Found gallery has free events where I will gladly donate my hard earned cash, catch some free music and some art, in the spirit of community.

    Tear down the Gates!!

    Have fun folks

  2. One small correction: it was the Silver Lake Improvement Association (SLIA) that sponsored the community meetings re the street fair and provided a forum for folks to voice and address concerns. The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (SLNC) was sadly MIA on this event happening right in the middle of their neighborhood. Too busy debating bigger issues like impeaching the President and giving each other awards, I guess. You would think that the local neighborhood council would themselves have been more involved and pro-active with information about parking, street closures, detour routes etc. After all, they are geting 50,000. dollars of our hard earned tax money! No wonder people are down on the whole neighborhood council system.

  3. from 2005 city beat interview interview with Garcetti
    Q: Are you excited for the upcoming Sunset Junction festival, right there in your district?

    A: “Absolutely. We want to make sure that it’s well-managed, that the impact on the community isn’t too great, but it’s one of the most eclectic and energizing collections of Angelenos I think you can find in a given year. And we want to make sure, too, that people know that we really enforce it as a voluntary donation. The donations help support the organization, and that’s great. But families who might come there with four or five kids, working class from the community, don’t have to be paying 30 bucks to get in. They can go in for free.”

    Boy things have changed…..

  4. trixkidz – thanks for that clarification (that’s why I’m always hesitant to go with anonymous info).

    JT – I really wish there were no gates, I’d probably attend, I just can’t justify $15 if I’m just there to sample to food and perhaps browse the booths.

    It’s going to be a sweltering weekend.

  5. Ain’t them Beastie Boys playing at the Greek on Sunday too? Throw in a Dodgers day game and it sounds like heaven from Los Feliz Village to Elysian Park all day and night long! Or hell if you don’t like traffic.

  6. I’m curious, do you really HAVE to pay the $15 or is it suggested donation? And if it is strictly mandatory, how is that legal? (Sorry if this has been discussed before.)
    I had been going to Sunset Junction since I was a kid, but stopped attending a few years ago. It wasn’t just the money, it was the crowd too. I’ve witnessed some really ugly incidents there by frat boy types and other drunkies (and people were afraid of the cholos!)
    The crowds seem to be coming from more far off places like the Southbay, IE and OC so perhaps they’re the ones willing to play the $15.

  7. Chimatli – yes, it is now a mandatory fee (though there are stories of groups of young women strangely not having the entry fee collected from them).

    If you click through the previous posts from last year, according to Josh Kamensky of Garcetti’s office, it is LEGAL to close down city streets for a private festival and charge for it (if they pay a fee to the city).

    As I’ve stated before, it sounds like it should be illegal, but apparently it’s not. If we want it to be, then I think we need to tell City Council to make it so.

    I understand what you mean about it not feeling like it’s community based any longer, and I do think it’s the fee. I wouldn’t mind popping down there both nights for some fair-food … but not at $30 in addition to whatever I might want to spend on the food.

    It’s not an inclusive festival, that’s for damn sure.

  8. geeeeeeeeeez $15???? that’s it. i’m taking my $3 and going to the tofu festival downtown instead.

  9. 2 years ago- sunset junction started imposing a mandatory fee I think it was $10. This was in breach of their contract with the city wich specified that entrance fees must be donation.
    I remember this particularly because it was the subject of a disagreement between me and a security guard. I was very pleased that about 10 people went in for free will I was being chased down for not giving my mandatory donation. I never did. I ended up sneeking in. which I recomend everyone to do this year. This street festival has the oppurtunity to be great for the local community, but instead exploits it. Go and protest it, and when enough gather- let’s storm the gate.

    What has changed wherin they are allowed to changed so that they can sell tickets

  10. Vic – if you click through to the threads last year, Josh Kamensky of Eric Garcetti’s office replied on that topic:

    Entrance Fees vs. Donations: the City Attorney’s Office ruled that there are no ordinances prohibiting them from charging admission fees to events. The Sunset Junction organizers will charge festival attendees a fee, and proceeds will go to Sunset Junction’s community youth programs. Michael McKinley of Sunset Junction can tell you more about their programs; he can be reached at (323) 661-7771.

    As I mentioned in the comments above, it’s not illegal, we just think it should be … and if we want it to be then we have to put something on the books that makes it so. Call your local council office and let them know. I’ll post about the upcoming meeting in September if you’d like to lodge your feelings then.

  11. Thanks for the info, Cybele. I know the entrance fee, in addition to the increasing booth fees has hurt vendors too. For some of them, it’s not worth doing the fair anymore.

  12. I have lived in Silver Lake for over 10 years and have, in the past, LIVED for SJ Weekend. But then, two SJs ago, I realized that it’s all just a way for the Tsunami guys to steal more money without doing ANYTHING to help the community (that “garden” between Rough Trade and the glass store? That’s the Neighborhood Garden, run by the Junction foundation based at Tsunami). Until the books get opened, I, for one, will not give any money to the festival.

    FYI: if you live in the 900 to 1100 blocks between Fountain/Hyperion and Micheltorena, you are SUPPOSED to be able to get a bracelet and get in for free. Good luck getting one, since Tsunami only had them available yesterday and today. Tomorrow they are supposed to be available, but the store is only open during the lunch hour, so you can’t get them, even if you are entitled. You must have LEGAL ID (not a lease, not a bill. A driver’s license or passport with the correct address…)

    Maybe next year those of us who are frustrated with the situation can throw an Anti Junction Festival…with local bands, local artists, and local food. FOR FREE. That’s how it used to be!!

  13. Last year I refused to pay citing that this was public property, owned and paid for by the public and that I just happen to be part of the public. I told the gatekeeper that if he had a problem with me not paying, please feel free to alert the cop standing a few feet away. He in turn told the cop I refused to pay and the cop replied to the gatekeeper, “This is public property. He can pass freely at anytime and if you have a problem with that, I can and will shut this whole festival down.”
    That was my situation.
    Maybe if the person working the gate didn’t look like a full fledged gangbanger, complete with cholo wear and gang tattoos, the cop might have been a little more sympathetic to homeboy.
    I live within a block of the streetfair and I have never paid or used a wristband and never will. When Michael McKinley of Sunset Junction makes public the amount of money he makes off this festival and how the proceeds are spent, I would be more inclined to make a donation. At this point I don’t care what he does with the money as long as none of it is mine!

  14. I’m with Vic and Michelle: either we storm the gates (could be fun!) or start an anti-sj food, music, drinking event. You know that would take off like a rocket! Are there any public spaces near the SJ people could use for a gathering spot?

  15. el chavo,

    sunset triangle park (at the corner of sunset and lucile – next to el conquistador) would be a good gathering spot!

  16. In regards to whether the entrance fee is mandatory, I did a little research. First I called the City Attorney’s office where I spoke with an attorney concerning the matter and he told me it would take two hours to research it and that he didn’t have time. He then recommended that I call the Police Commision which I did. The investigator at the Police Commission said that this is something that they do not enforce and this is not a matter that the police would get involved in. He recommended that I call the Office of Finance to get a definitive answer. I spoke to a woman at the Office of Finance and she told me she didn’t know anything concerning this and she recommended I call the City Attorney’s office.
    It seems as the only people who say that the fee is mandatory are the people that are running the fair and the Police Commission tells me that they will not be enforcing this.
    Personally, I would tell the people at the gate that you are not paying and that if they would like, feel free to alert the nearest police officer. From what I was told by the Police Commission, this is not something they will be enforcing.

  17. Apparently some of the local businesses are having their own free event. I remember hearing that the fair was moving due to complaints from the businesses on Sunset, but doesn’t this make that rationale sound kind of fishy?

  18. I have lived in Sunset Junction for 28 yrs. Never once in my life did I have to pay for to enter this fair since it 1st started. Ask yourself something, do you have to pay for the Cinco de Mayo fair on Broadway St in Downtown? Answer: NO. Why is it that I have to pay $15 to walk down MY own neighborhood. I was told by both Michael McKonley and Eser from Tsunami that the reason I have to pay is because the fee covers the “Big Name Bands” that are to perform. Fiesta Broadway always has the biggest bands perform there every year without charging a single attendee. I was also denied free wrist bands to SJ even though I live exactly 1 square block from 2 entrances, with the worst attitude I might add. You better beleive that I will be attending to so called Post Mortem meeting. The so called organizers would like to have everyone believe that this is a community event, let me tell you from a long time resident. It used to be until these nuckleheads got together and realized that more and more people from other cities started coming to SJ. How can they call this a community event when they exclude the very same community who has supported this event since it 1st started. They figured, why not make money, they drove all the way down here. While tryin to inquire about the so called free wrist bands i was also told by Michael McKonley and Eser that all the trash would be picked up by SJ employees that would be walking around the neighborhood. Did it happen? NO!!! Guess who had to pick up all the trash and empty bottles. ME!! Not to mention the idiot who I had to call a tow truck on because he blocked my drive way and all the Drunk IDIOTS. And they said that I didn’t live close enough to get inconvenienced from the fair. Another thing I was told by them, is that the reason why they have to charge is because the City is all of a sudden charging them to have the fair. I find that hard to believe. Don’t you? I spoke to several cops that day and was given some excellent advise: obtain signatures from every resident who beleives that SJ is an inconvenience and who beleive that changes should be immediately made. Also, arrange a meeting with Eric Garcetti to make him aware of what the real thoughts of the local residents are. I basically have one question for Eric Garcetti; How important is our support to you? If he answers, very important then I would have demand to have him look into these problems and if changes are not made then we would have to swing our support to someone else who will attend to these demands. I am willing to bet that once he hears that the residents are planning to vote for someone else, his attitude will change real quick.
    All in all, I am not saying that we need to get rid of the Sunset Junction all together. What I’m saying is to keep things the way they were when hardly anyone had ANY problems with the fair. Donations seemed to work all these yrs. Why all of sudden do they need to charge for an event that has been for FREE for 20+ yrs? I know, they need to pay for those super expensive apts. whose rent has jacked up so high. i can remember a time when no one wanted to live in my neighborhood. Now it’s the cool place to be. How crazy things change when you get outsiders claim that they discovered my neighborhood when the whole time I’ve been living here all of my 28 yrs.

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