Broke L.A., the festival formerly known as Brokechella, rolled out its 7th installment on April 8th, 2017. It was Blurred Culture’s first time attending the event, but we were excited to see, and hear, what the “Coachella Alternative” had to offer. Having moved to a new location in East L.A. to accommodate a larger crowd, and scheduling the date of its festivities so it’s not in direct competition vying for patrons with Coachella, and at a fraction of the cost ($25), it was sure to draw a large and diverse crowd.
When I stepped onto the festival grounds, I was immediately drawn to the D.I.Y. spirit that was everywhere. Some volunteers were still decorating the entrance with hanging balloons and others were discussing the best placement of informative signs.
The “theme” of this year’s festival was “BROKE Playground”, and all throughout the festival grounds stages were designated with said themes: Jungle Gym (main stage curated by cARTel), Ball Pit (curated by cARTel), Bounce House (curated by Shifty Rhythms), Swings (curated by Brownies & Lemonade) and Sandbox (Comedy curated by: Omid Singh, Chelsea Quinn, Robbie Kirkhuff). Each stage had it’s own D.I.Y. art installations, some more successful than others, and some more functional, like the actual jungle gym that patrons sat on during performances to get a free Broke L.A. “VIP” view of bands on the main stage.
The crowd at Broke L.A. was very youthful, carefree and thoughtful. It’s an atmosphere that Broke L.A. seems to have cultivated with it’s aesthetics, volunteers, employees and activism booths. It was an atmosphere that actively fostered opened mindedness and acceptance, and that was a pretty awesome feeling. While there was a good size crowd at the festival, it never felt overcrowded, and there was always room to dance, whether in the large rooms where DJs dropped beats, or outside in front of the the main stage.
At every trashcan, throughout the entire day, there were Greenpeace volunteers gently making sure that trash was deposited in the correct receptacle. There were political activism booths that seemed to always be crowded with patrons registering to vote or writing letters to their representatives. And dogs! The fact that this festival was pet friendly, with an area for you play with, and possibly adopt, a dog, was an added bonus. I mean, who does’t love dogs?
But the main draw that got the masses to congregate on this day was the music. It’s my understanding that this year’s line-up consisted of “bigger bookings” than what has been offered in prior years. Chance the Rapper collaborators Brasstracks and L.A. based, critical darlings James Supercave headlined the last two slots on the Jungle Gym stage, but we were more interested in checking out the undercards.
Below are the artists that we were interested in checking out. Links to their posts will be embedded once they are posted and will have thoughts, photo galleries and video clips when available, so keep it locked here for updates!
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