LAUNCH LA and 88.5 FM KCSN are bringing the best of Museum Row together again on Saturday for the 13th annual TarFest music and art fair at Hancock Park.
The free, all-ages event will feature local artists, musicians and bands featuring something for the whole family, food, drinks, art, activities and more. TarFest utilizes the Tar Pits and public green space located between LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits Museum in celebration of the city’s music and art scene by showcasing up-and-coming bands and artists.
Live music, organized by Kevin Bronson of BuzzBands.LA and KCSN, will start at 2 p.m. with performances by (in the order they are set to appear) Salt Petal, Babes, Jessica Childress, The Shelters and Gavin Turek.
In curating the lineup, Bronson said he was asked to ensure it was musically diverse. James Panozzo, director of LAUNCH LA and co-founder of TarFest, said Bronson succeeded, calling the lineup the most diverse the festival has had.
“I’m extremely happy with the artists we have playing and the broad areas of the music they represent,” Bronson said. “The key is to pick artists that have good music with a good following, charisma and a broad appeal. Usually, these festivals have the cream of the crop of the up-and-comers, and I got really lucky with this year’s batch.”
Steve Kramer, president of the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce, said he always looks forward to the musical performances at TarFest.
“We’ve seen bands emerging through the years and they end up moving on to bigger, larger festivals or concerts,” he said.
Panozzo said bringing in the up-and-coming artists from the area is part of the consistent theme each year: “Excavating future culture on Miracle Mile.”
“It really says in one phrase what we’re doing,” he said. “We have this really cool and unique treasure [at the Tar Pits] and the same time we’re celebrating emerging talent.”
Panozzo said for the first time, almost 50 “Move The World – Dance Activism” performers will descend into the main area for six-minute routines among spectators between band performances in the afternoon.
Panozzo said the event will also feature the TarFest Art Pavillion, curated by Merry Karnowsky.
Local artists Greg “Craola’ Simkins, Johnny ‘KMNDZ’ Rodriguez and Joseph Lee will paint live at the event. The artists will start working on a 4-by-8-foot painting at 8 a.m. and attendees can watch as the projects are completed around 6 p.m.
“There’s not a lot of artists that can really complete a full image in that time,” Panozzo said. “It’s a skill in and of itself, to have a fully realized image by the end of the day. It gives people the chance to see an artist at work, and a chance for the artists to connect with people as well.”
Programs also include a special exhibition of painting and limited edition prints by Los Angeles artists. Special silent auction items and artwork will also be available. The Japan Foundation, The Petersen Automotive Museum and Orchard Supply Hardware will present free kids’ art-making activities.
Popular food trucks Baby’s Badass Burgers, Cousin’s Maine Lobster and Meat the Greek will be serving food. The event will also include a Lagunitas Biergarten and wine bar.
Kramer said TarFest continues to strengthen the quality of the performances and the audiences continue to grow. Panozzo said they are expecting between 4,000-5,000 attendees.
“It’s interesting after 13 years to see people’s responses to the announcement,” Kramer said. “People tell me that it’s already on their calendar. They say, ‘It’s TarFest, how would we not know.’”
He said it’s a sign that the festival is beginning to be woven into the fabric of the community.
Kramer added that one of the great benefits is how the festival gives families an opportunity to see the museums as fun and not so “academic.”
“It’s a good introduction to Museum Row and the opportunities available there,” he said. “Kids should be comfortable knowing where the museums are. TarFest makes things seem more approachable.”
The event begins at 1 p.m. and goes until at least 8 p.m. at Hancock Park at 5801 Wilshire Blvd. For information, visit www.tarfest.com
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