The Summer Strummer Festival, a rock ‘n’ roll jamboree with four stages of live musical acts, returns for its second year to the local Santa Monica arts mecca Bergamot Station with a hodgepodge of punk rock, alternative, psychobilly, singer/songwriter, pop rock and emo sounds.
The end of the summer concert event will feature approximately 40 bands from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 2nd, at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $40 for general admission and $60 for VIP tickets. A portion of VIP ticket sales benefits the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and the Los Angeles Ballet. All ages are admitted to the festival.
Bergamot Station is a cultural center and enclave of nearly 40 fine art galleries in an area that was once a train station for the Red Cars that ran from Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier.
Confirmed musical acts at the Summer Strummer Festival this year include Brett Dennen, Jesse Malin, Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers and Friends, Deadbolt, Whitestarr, Ian Moore, Charlie and the Valentine Killers, Speedbuggy, Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz, Stonehoney, Dead Rock West, and Dusty Rhodes and the River Band on the Lucky Brand Haybale Stage; Mat Kearney, Augustana, One Republic, Test Your Reflex, Jeremy Fisher, Kate Voegele, The Tender Box, Astra Heights, Mandi Perkins, Dirty Harry, Jay Clifford, Drive-A on the Star Lounge Stage; and Zeke, Duane Peters Gunfight, Battalion of Saints, Bullets & Octane, Rezurex, Over It, Orange, Billy Boy on Poison, The Uprising, Los Creepers, The Widders, Rocket, Brigette Handley and the Dark Shadows, Canon, and MC Jeffrey Damnit on the Monster Energy Stage.
The guest star emcee for the festival is comic/tv personality Carson Daly.
A recently added fourth stage will feature musical acts Mozella, Curt Phillips, Mande, Tim Myers, Lonesome Spurs, John Nielson and Ambrose.
Skateboarding and punk rock have gone hand in hand in Southern California since the 1970s and the Summer Strummer will pay homage to that with its “Drave Old School Skateboard Expo” with professional skateboarding legends Duane Peters, Lance Mountain, Chad Muska and Steve Olson.
The big difference between the festival this year and last year’s festival is the wider range of genres, says Phil Jaurigui, festival organizer and president of Swing House Rehearsal.
“We wanted to widen our horizons this year,” says Jaurigui. “We have much bigger drawing bands this year, and we tried to make the festival more oriented toward the tastes of people on the Westside.”
And they wanted to create a lineup that would offer something for the whole family.
“If your sister likes punk and you like country, you can still come down and everyone will be happy,” Jaurigui says.
The idea for the festival first came to Jaurigui after he attended KROQ’s Inland Invasion in 2003, a massive festival with an audience in the tens of thousands held at the Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion in San Bernardino.
That concert featured a lot of original 1970s punk bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks and The Damned, combined with contemporary hit pop punk acts, including The Offspring and New Found Glory.
“I saw so many parents at that festival with their kids,” says Jaurigui. “There were tattooed-up punk rock dads holding hands with their little kids.
“This is the kind of all-ages family feel I want the Summer Strummer to have. I want it to feel like a carnival or a small-town fair.”
Radio sponsor Star 98.7 FM is planning broadcast live throughout the event.
Organizers, who recognized the oft-lamented lack of large-scale rock events in Santa Monica, say they intend to make the festival a yearly event.
“Our idea was to build something hip and musical for L.A.’s Westside, but with a wide range of attractions that people of all ages could enjoy,” says Jaurigui.
He recalls the days when rock ‘n’ roll culture ruled the Westside.
“Led Zeppelin played here at the Santa Monica Civic [Auditorium] and I remember Motley Crue did as well when I was a little kid,” says Jaurigui. “I saw the film Dogtown and Z-Boys and I remember thinking to myself, ‘What happened to all of this? Why is none of this around anymore on the Westside?'”
The Summer Strummer will include vendors of food, clothing and lifestyle merchandise.
Some of the Bergamot Station art galleries plan to stay open and participate in the event.
Information, (323) 850-4990 or www.myspace.com/thesummer strummer/.