This weekend: Make Music Pasadena festival on Saturday, featuring Best Coast, Ra Ra Riot and more
Those venturing into the well-manicured wilds of downtown Pasadena this Saturday will inevitably encounter what may be the city’s loudest day of the year. Designed as a community celebration for music of all pedigrees, the fourth annual Make Music Pasadena festival unfurls a full day of musicians ranging from platinum recording artists to scrappy up-and-comers performing on street corners, art galleries, outdoor stages and theaters near the area of Colorado Boulevard.
Months after the lineup was announced, the festival presented by 89.9 KCRW is finally upon us. Headliners at the 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. event include Best Coast, Ra Ra Riot, Hello Seahorse!, Ben L’Oncle Soul, Zola Jesus and the Morning Benders. All for the low, low price of $0.
Notable headliners aside, the spirit of the pop-up concert remains an integral part of the festival’s DNA. Ducking into an air conditioned art gallery or local shop is liable to turn your sweltering trek through Old Town Pasadena into an intimate, unlikely local gig with artists playing throughout the day. Over 500 professional and amateur musicians are set to perform in more than 30 unconventional performance spaces.
Catering to a myriad of aural tastes, Make Music’s packed lineup -- combined with the free admission -- has cemented its place on L.A.’s summer festival roster. The event is a precursor to World Music Day and serves as L.A.’s kickoff to World Music Weekend, celebrated in more than 300 cities, 108 countries and five continents around the world. This year’s Pasadena lineup boasts a bit of international flair with performances by songstress Carla Morrison and Hello Seahorse! of Mexico, Tita Lima of Brazil, and L’Oncle Soul of France.
Stages for the event include the Luckman World Music Stage in the city's Playhouse District, classical music at Pasadena City Hall, indie rock at the Wells Fargo Stage on Colorado Boulevard, reggae at Levitt Pavilion on Holly Street and 20 other pop-up venues scattered throughout the downtown area.
Providing a full day of music with the words “festival” and “free” in the same sentence has been a city-sponsored undertaking since the event started in 2008. Funding for Make Music is provided by the Old Pasadena Management District, the Playhouse District Assn., the city of Pasadena and others.
The event is also touting its partnership with Metro. Those who ride the Gold Line to the event and show their train ticket at the festival’s info booth can score a free ticket to see pop chanteuse Keren Ann at the Luckman Theatre at Cal State L.A. on June 25.
-- Nate Jackson
Photo: Best Coast at Coachella in April. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times