Bergamot Station, Santa Monica’s enclave of about 40 art galleries, where gallery shows and art openings commence weekly, will shift gears for an afternoon and welcome about 40 indie/ punk/alternative rock bands for an end-of-the-summer music festival.
The outdoor Summer Strummer Music Festival is scheduled from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, September 17th, at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Tickets are $25 for general admission or $50 for V.I.P. admission. Proceeds from V.I.P. admission tickets benefit the Los Angeles Ballet and proceeds from beer sales go to the Los Angeles Down Syndrome Association. All ages are admitted into the festival.
Though the festival features a mix of original Southern California punkers such as Agent Orange and John Doe of the band X, and new schoolers like Your Enemies Friends and The Spores — groups that wear rebellion and questioning authority like a badge of honor — organizers are hyping the festival as a youth and family-oriented music event.
The idea for the festival first came to Phil Jaurigui, president of festival organizers Swing House Rehearsal, 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 slew 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.”
The festival features a fairly broad spectrum of groups stylistically, with the headliners Kinky, The Donnas, Rooney and The Vacation packing more of a poppy punch in their sound.
Other groups confirmed for the festival at press time include Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde), Josie Cotton, The Briggs, American Eyes, Rezurex, The Outline, Under the Influence of Giants, The Start, Orange, William Tell, Stefy, The Tender Box, The Diffs, The Gray Kid, The Strays, Dead To Me, Big Dume, Bangkok 5, Everybody Else, Run Run Run, Drive-A, Ronnie Day, The Binges, Mandi Perkins, The Minor Canon, Amanda Mosher and John Neilson.
The live music will be divided among three stages, and the festival will also feature skateboarding demos and exhibitions.
Radio sponsor Indie 103.1 FM is planning to do a live broadcast throughout the event.
The event has been organized by Swing House Rehearsal Studios with promotion help from sponsors including the Sunset Strip’s Key Club.
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, and it will feature Roller Derby girls.
Some of the Bergamot Station art galleries plan to stay open and participate in the event.
Information, (323) 850-4990.
The Venice Music Festival and Jazz at Palms Court is an annual event where community members come together to support Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC) and its mission of providing affordable housing opportunities in Venice.
Sounds from the world music genre will provide the sonic flavor of this year’s concert, which starts at 1 p.m. with featured performers Kwanza Jones, Afrobeat Down and Los Pinguos.
The Jazz at Palms Court champagne brunch will kick off the day’s festivities at 11 a.m. at 733-743 Palms Blvd. in Venice and will feature the traditional jazz sounds of the Richard Glaser Quartet.
Tickets are $100 for the brunch and concert or $20 for the afternoon world music concert only.
A silent auction will also be a part of the fundraising and festivities.
Venice Community Housing Corporation’s mission is to preserve, maintain and expand affordable housing opportunities for low-income people, provide economic development and support services, and preserve the economic, racial and social diversity of Venice. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1988.
In addition to its Affordable Housing Program, VCHC assists in operating an Infant Toddler Development Center and runs CommunityWorks for Kids after-school program, L.A. Bridges gang prevention program, Venice YouthBuild construction job training program for at-risk young adults, HandyWorker home repairs for the elderly, and law and justice programs for teens at Venice High School.
Information, (310) 399-4100.