Arroyo Seco Weekend 2018 is this weekend! The dad-rock version of Coachella takes place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and we’ve highlighted some of the things to look forward to!
This year’s festival takes place Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24. Saturday’s action is headlined by Neil Young & Promise of the Real and Jack White. Sunday’s bill is topped by Kings of Leon and Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters.
The lineup also features awesome throwback acts like the Pretenders, Belle and Sebastian, Alanis Morissette, Third Eye Blind, The Specials, Violent Femmes, and The Bangles. It also features some more modern names that your parents will dig — Gary Clark Jr., Capital Cities, Kamasi Washington, Margo Price, Hooray for the Riff Raff, Allen Stone, Dorothy, and Margaret Glaspy.
Last year was the festival’s first edition and it ran pretty smoothly for the most part. We’ve taken what we know about the Pasadena festival and have highlighted five things worth knowing as you head in.
They fixed the blanket and chairs camping bullshit from 2017
Last year, one of my only complaints in my Best and Worst of Arroyo Seco recap was that the privileged older folks that came out for the festival aren’t really festival people. Therefore, they didn’t know that it’s pretty much insane to think you’re entitled to laying down a blanket and setting up chairs within 20 feet of the stage. But that’s what people did and it was infuriating. One lady bitched at me for stepping ACROSS her blanket to make my way back out of the crowd from the main stage to one of the smaller stages.
This year, the FAQ for Arroyo Seco Weekend says blankets and chairs are allowed — BUT only in designated areas. I imagine that means that they won’t be allowed any closer than the soundboard, which is very reasonable. You can’t have your cake and eat it too — the comfort of sitting AND being close to the stage.
Some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles and Pasadena will be bringing some of their famed eats to Arroyo Seco Weekend. Beer Belly is a favorite spot of mine in Koreatown, particularly their Duck Fat Fries. Burritos La Palma kill it with the burritos and Mexican eats. They’ll have Kogi BBQ, Ms Chi (amazing dim sum), and a variety of healthy and vegan eats like Donna Jean and Cena Vegan.
There isn’t that much shade where there are great viewing areas
Bring your sunblock, folks. Because at Arroyo Seco Weekend last year, there wasn’t that much shade. The only shade that was easy to find was inside the Willow Tent. There are a handful of trees scattered around the park but very few of them are within great seeing range of the stages. Make sure you drink enough water and take it easy with the drinking.
The undercard is deep
There are only 36 performers across the two days of Arroyo Seco Weekend 2018, but there aren’t any lulls. The soulful and hair-raising Allen Stone plays at 1 PM on Sunday, so you’re gonna wanna get into the gates early. Jazz genius Kamasi Washington, ’90s icon Alanis Morissette, up-and-coming singer-songwriters Margaret Glaspy and Fantastic Negrito, and the imitable Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra all start before 5 PM.
Children 10 and under are allowed FREE ENTRY
Continuing what they offered their inaugural event, Arroyo Seco Weekend is shaping up to be another event for the whole family. Goldenvoice has opted to allow children 10-and-under to come to the festival for free, which is quite amazing. I remember last year being at the front of the main stage Saturday while a young girl went over the set times excitedly, telling her dad who they were going to see that weekend. This is the perfect way to introduce your kids (or in some of your cases, nieces and nephews) to a music festival. Just make sure you don’t tire them out too fast and you keep them hydrated!
We’re looking forward to making it out to Pasadena! With no FYF Fest this year, we need a good summertime music festival and Arroyo Seco hopes to fill that gap.