Worth the Drive

Sunset Strip Music Festival Joins the Summer Concert Ranks

For those SoCal-ers who opted out of a desert trek to Coachella, or forewent the schlep up north for Outside Lands, this month’s for you. Starting this weekend, L.A. goes music fest crazy, playing host to three separate — and arguably divergent — weekends of live tunes. The long argued about, hipster championed Sunset Junction Street Fair, at (you guessed it) Sunset Junction, kicks off this Saturday, runs through Sunday, and boasts L.A. favorites and up-and-comers like Mayer Hawthorne, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Deadly Syndrome, Crystal Antlers, and Bad Brains.

On Saturday, September 4, the popular Fuck Yeah Fest (FYF for short) returns to Los Angeles State Historic Park (1245 N. Spring St.) for a full day of indie rock, featuring everyone from Panda Bear and The Rapture to recent and soon-to-be S.B. stopovers like Wavves, Local Natives, Cults, and Delorean.

Still, I have my eyes firmly set on next weekend’s offering: the three-day, star-packed Sunset Strip Music Festival (SSMF).

An ode to all things on the famed L.A. stretch, SSMF is part all-day rock-a-thon, part South by Southwest-style takeover. On Thursday and Friday, the festival will take place at six historic venues along the Sunset Strip, and include acts like Filter (at the Roxy 8/26), Nico Vega (at the Key Club 8/27), P.O.D. (at the Whisky 8/27), and an all-star tribute to Slash (at the House of Blues Sunset on 8/26).

Then come Saturday, SSMF takes things to the streets (on Sunset between Doheny and San Vicente, specifically) for a two-stage, four-venue celebration of rock and hip-hop. While big-name headliners like Smashing Pumpkins, Common, Neon Trees, and Slash will no doubt draw a crowd to the fest’s outdoor goings-on, rising acts like Oh No Not Stereo, Dirty Sweet, and Cisco Adler will keep the one-off spots hoppin’ throughout the night.

For a full rundown of this year’s SSMF, complete with set times, lineups, tickets, and details, visit sunsetstripmusicfestival.com.

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