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Once Again, the Sunset Strip Rocked Crowds with its Namesake Music Fest
In 2009 when West Hollywood gave Sunset Strip business owners the blessing to close it down for a rock festival, 10,000 people came shelling out $50 to access numerous stages and tons of music acts. It was a big step in the comeback of famous artery that once was the rock and roll mecca, and before that in the 30s and 40s, a Hollywood hangout.
In 2000s, L.A.'s noted music scene -- although a very different type of music -- moved eastward to Silver Lake and Echo Park and the Strip lost a lot of inertia. But where there's heart, hard work and community, there's going to be success.
This year the Sunset Strip Music Festival brought out 15,000 people to its one-day street festival and an additional 15,000 to various shows in the days leading up to it. Over 90 bands played and next year there's even more room to grow.
"It's very exciting, I've got to watch something build," said The Roxy owner Nic Adler, who grew up on The Strip during its heyday when his father ran the club. "There's a lot of hard work that's gone into it and there's a lot of walls that have come down. People seem to be coming together with one goal in mind." Adler explained that three to four years ago when area was out of fashion, there was a lot of un-neighborhood like attitudes going around. Now as business owners are starting to get together and talk to each other, things are looking up.
At the street festival last month, there was a point where an estimated 12,000 people were all gathered watching two different bands on opposite sides of the street. On one side was the Smashing Pumpkins. At the other end, a very different type of scene was going on with Kid Cudi on stage. "I know you're not supposed to satisfy everyone, but that is a little bit of what were trying accomplish this festival," said Adler of the line-up, which is mean to reflect the diversity of what the Strip brings year-round.
Adler admits, however, that there's still not a Sunset Strip sound like before, though he questions if that matters anymore. "We've had a sound before, but I don't know if music needs to have that, or if we need to have that."
In any case, Adler, who is known for his early adoption and success with social media, is ecstatic with seeing the festival act as a catalyst to bring back the neighborhood. So will the festival be back? Of course, or as he screamed over the phone: "We're going to do it again!"