Phantogram and Grizfolk headline the Venice Block Party pop-up music festival
By Joe Piasecki
Music is part of Venice’s DNA, but places to hear it performed live — not just in Venice, but anywhere west of the 405 — are becoming increasingly scarce.
The 2332 Collective (named for its Abbot Kinney Boulevard address) is on a mission to change that, leveraging Venice’s predominantly tech-centered entrepreneurial spirit to create live music experiences in and around brick-and-mortar spaces.
On Sunday, the 2332 Collective teams with creative agency the Restless Group and the local tastemakers at the Winston House to throw its biggest event yet: the third annual Venice Block Party, an eight-hour outdoor festival with live bands, deejay sets, food trucks, an outdoor bar and interactive games along Boccaccio Avenue between Abbot Kinney and Zeno Place.
Event proceeds go to Peace4Kids, a nonprofit that provides mentorship and enrichment activities for foster youth — including a massive Mobile Village Kitchen that’ll be on site for the event.
Think of the Venice Block Party as a neighborhood-size charitable Coachella, with music that merits the comparison.
Electropop duo Phantogram, fresh off appearing at Coachella in April, headlines with a special live deejay set.
L.A.-based alt-rockers Grizfolk, The Palms (including original members of Venice indie rock sensation Terraplane Sun) and emerging electro-dance outfit Isle&Fever are playing live music sets.
Winston House, an Abbot Kinney-based creative community that’s been hosting performers like Ed Sheeran and The Shins at their weekly invite-only music series, is also taking over the stage for a two-hour surprise set.
D!Y, who performed at last year’s Uncle Sam Jam (aka Venice Block Party 2), and computer music makers Doz Boiz are holding down the turntables between the live bands.
The carefully curated lineup is both a product of collaboration and the creative connections of the 2332 Collective itself: tech accelerator operator Blake Caldwell, sound engineer Jason Stiegler, Red Bull Media House music supervisor Courtney Jenkins, and Grizfolk lead vocalist Adam Roth (who introduced the group to Peace4Kids).
Identifying difficulties in obtaining city permits for live entertainment and the extremely high cost of maintaining brick-and-more music venues in the frenzied Westside real estate market — RIP The Good Hurt, Red Garter Club, The WitZend and The Talking Stick — the group decided that hosting pop-up events would be the most economically sustainable way to fulfill their live music mission.
In March the 2332 Collective hosted Sound Break at Unica Casa in Culver City, and last fall it put on Detention at The Collective HQ in Palms.
“We’re all about bringing live music to the Westside and giving both musicians and fans opportunities to have that experience,” says Caldwell. “Especially in a place that has such a strong historical culture as Venice, we’re trying to keep that drive going. As Venice is gentrifying and changing, we need to keep that culture. And music is a big part of that.”
The third annual Venice Block Party is from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 2. Enter at 2300 Zeno Place. General admission is $40, but early bird discounts are available at veniceblockparty.2332collective.com.