Do you like music? Art? Food? Comedy? What about puppies? The one-day Broke LA festival, formerly known as “Brokechella” offered all of the above. Taking place during the Coachella Weekend #2, the first “Brokechella” event was hosted 6 years ago in service to showcasing a sea of local bands at a non-Coachella price. This year was my first time attending Broke LA, and for the $20 admission, it totally over-delivered.
The venue, Imperial Art Studios, located in the Arts District just east of Downtown Los Angeles offered ample space to accommodate an intimate yet large scale festival. I arrived about an hour after the doors opened, and was pleasantly greeted with no lines, friendly volunteer staff, a free drink ticket (as promised to the first 500 attendees), and a couple of boxes of Pocky…yeah, the delightful Japanese snack.
Since there were only three bands in the lineup that I was familiar with, Vinyl Williams, DWNTWN, and Alina Bea, I was looking forward to walking around aimlessly to hit all four of the spaced out stages. The outdoor main “Cartel” stage featured various rock bands—it was here where I stayed and enjoyed the music the most. Some of my favorite acts appearing on that stage included the female fronted, The XX inspired electro-pop group, Yassou, and the energetic Indie-pop band DWNTWN. From the shoegaze noise-rock Tennis System to the demonic electronic performance inducing a keyboard-shattering exit off stage, many genres were showcased just at the outdoor Cartel stage.
The indoor “Brownies and Lemonade” and “Shifty-Rhythms” stages offered EDM and Hip-Hop performances, respectively, and the far off “Cartel Indoor Stage” featured additional rock and eclectic bands.
In addition to the music, dog adoption agency, “Bark LA” offered puppies a new home, or just some love and attention. Food trucks were well represented as well, with big names like CoolHaus and Miche-Mobil on the lot.
Overall, the festival had a very welcoming, hippy-pyschedelic feel, as my friend and I enjoyed wandering through the neon art, scoping out the glitter table, and making new friends all the while finding new music to dive into.
Here’s a list of what “worked” in this festival:
- Space! No stage or one area ever felt too crowded. Unless you were waiting in line to hold a puppy or for a specific hip food truck, anything you desired could be acheived right away.
- The Vibe. Lots of friendly festival staff around, from open to close, and outgoing people as well.
- Activities! Pet a puppy, listen to music, look at art, take a free photo, there was no lack of activities and never did I once feel bored.
- Prices. $20 to get in, and only $5 for beers! With one free beer and some pocky thrown in there–what a steal!
And a couple of things that could improve the festival:
- Line-Up Displays. Post it up on the main stage, hand out a flyer, etc. There where times I had no idea who was playing, and if the band didn’t share their name, I was at a loss.
- Offer cider for the gluten intolerant 🙂