Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Tarfest Music and Arts Festival Bubbles Up on Saturday

On Saturday, September 22,  head over to the La Brea Tar Pits for live music, DJ sets, kids’ activities, dance workshops, live painting activities, a Lagunitas beer garden, outdoor cocktail lounge, food trucks and more, at the 16th annual Tarfest.  Taking place from 1 to 7:30 p.m. and sponsored by the LaunchLA arts non-profit, Tarfest is billed as “the oldest and largest free music and arts festival in the Miracle Mile.”

Tarfest and LaunchLA founder James Panozzo said in a recent press statement, “Tarfest represents an opportunity to bring people out into a beautiful green space to celebrate art, celebrate each other and celebrate our diverse community. It’s an opportunity to get to know each other, to make discoveries about the neighborhood, local institutions, and businesses; and to spend a nice time together. “

LaunchLA board chair Steve Kramer agreed. “It introduces the community to the art and music which is available in the Greater Miracle Mile but not always known about,” he said. “Much like the beautiful green space that sits between LACMA and the Tar Pits Museum. It’s a beautiful area that is in use but could be utilized so much more by the community and Tarfest is a terrific
way to utilize that space.”

“This year,” said Panozzo, “we’ve tried to refocus on the music to provide some great entertainment for the community. We’ve curated a really nice line-up of bands this year. We’ll have all the bells and whistles of the live painting on giant canvases, food trucks, wonderful outdoor Langunitas beer garden and a cocktail lounge. The art making activities for the kids are strong again with the Japan Foundation, Fusion Academy, Metro, The Petersen and more. I’m really excited about the breakdance workshops with JUICE – Justice by Uniting In Creative Energy, who operate out of MacArthur Park in the Rampart district and who’ve been doing it since 2001.”

The full performance and activity slate includes:

Music by Wild, Caught a Ghost, Smoke Season, Jane Holiday and Freedom Fly…curated by Manic Monkee and MCTobi Lynn of Alt 98.7

Live painting by Brett Crawford and Holly Tempo…curated by KP Projects and sponsored by Blick Art Materials.

Free kids’ art activities with The Japan Foundation Los Angeles, Metro, Fusion Academy, the Petersen Automotive Museum and more.

Kramer says he’s especially happy to see how the event has grown each year, signifying the community’s increasing awareness of all the Miracle Mile has to offer.  “ Last year I was walking with Councilman Ryu,” Kramer said, “and watching the booths with the kids activities and how engaged the youth were with the dance, and [I] remarked how great it was because the kids were interacting and not with their phones. This gives the museums, foundations, businesses a greater opportunity to let people know about all the amazing programs they have right here in the Mile.”

Admission to Tarfest is free, with food and drinks available for purchase. Be sure to check it out on Saturday!

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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