Photo courtesy of Arroyo Seco Weekend
In addition to being a great scene for live music, Arroyo Seco Weekend also showed their support for the community of Pasadena in more ways than one. Residents neighboring the Rose Bowl and Brookside Golf Course reported that the festival “wasn’t the nightmare festival neighbors feared”, and that traffic and noise were of little disruption to daily routine. Arroyo Seco Weekend coordinators also put immense effort to support small businesses in the Pasadena and Los Angeles areas, giving booths to restaurants like Dog Haus and Kogi, as well as “little libraries” to Vroman’s Bookstore and even an “instrument petting zoo” for the Kidspace Museum. What stood out most prominently about Arroyo Seco’s dedication to the community was their partnership with local Pasadena high schools, allowing students interested in music and marketing careers to talk to panelists and experts about what goes into putting on such a festival.
Around the festival, small areas were gated off and turned into “little libraries”, where festival-goers could donate books, or grab one to read for a while. Vroman’s Bookstore is located on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena and is known to be “southern California’s oldest bookstore”. I was thrilled to see that they had a place in the festival, and seeing people take the time to check out the “mini libraries” and learn more about the book store made me even happier.
The Kidspace Museum is located fairly close to the Rose Bowl, and is a great place for locals to take their kids on weekends. The place offers science lessons and exhibits in a hands on and kid friendly way, and their booth at the festival was no different. Because kids 10 and under at Arroyo Seco Weekend were admitted for free, many took the opportunity and made it a family outing. The Kidspace Museum booth featured an “instrument petting zoo”, allowing kids to try out a variety of instruments while also getting advice about techniques. And of course, there was a play structure.
Arroyo Seco Weekend went above and beyond, however, with their youth outreach program. Over 40 students from 4 local high schools were allowed to come to the festival and see what went into being a part of the music industry, from being the actual musician, to being behind the scenes. I was really excited to see such commitment to the community, and I’m sure local residents were, too.
Over the course of the weekend, Arroyo Seco Weekend proved to be different from other festivals in its family friendly and community friendly aspect. Though the festival has a ten year contract with the city, the city can opt out after three years if it isn’t a good fit. I feel, however, that this festival is a great fit for the area, and I hope locals feel the same way and continue to support it for as long as it runs.