Eclectic Music, Art Festival Touted as ‘Best Ever’

Contemporary swing revival band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy headlined last Saturday’s Eclectic Festival in South Pasadena. Photo by Cyndi Bemel

Music and art have been billed as languages that have no borders, no boundaries, languages that are loved by all. Those facts were most assuredly on display this past Saturday during the 10th Annual Eclectic Music Festival and Art Walk in South Pasadena.

Bill Kelly, 64, was riding his bicycle along with his wife Monica just before the music was slated to start. “I love this festival,” Kelly said as he rested a moment from his ride. “It’s incredible that the community offers this for free. We love coming here.”

Monica, his wife of more than 30 years, echoed those sentiments, saying South Pasadena does it the right way.

“They closed down the street so everybody can walk around and enjoy the music,” she said, referring to the closure of Mission Street from Fair Oaks to Meridian avenues. “This is really a great festival.”

Musical stages, including the main stage where Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performed as the headliner, were set up all along the street.

Maria Wallace loves attending the Eclectic because she, too, said South Pasadena puts on the best show.

“I love the crowds…I feel safe,” Wallace said. “I love the energy, the music. The kids are expressing themselves in such a way that’s all about love and peace.”

And that’s how the 10th annual played out. Local police said there were no incidents to report; everything went smoothly, according to South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller.

“By far, this was one of the best we’ve ever had,” said Laurie Wheeler, president/CEO of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

The applause was not relegated to the audience alone. Even the artists expressed praise for the event.

“This is a great venue,” said solo-artist Trevor Green, who performed on the East Mission Stage at 5 p.m. It was Green’s first-time performing at the festival, who characterized his music as world-folk rock. “I love what I do. It gives me great joy and this festival is special.”

As the streets began to fill up with people and the music began to sway the crowd, many found their way to local shops.

“This is great for my business,” said Jennifer Maimone, who owns Dual Crossroads at 1005-B Mission St. “My business will increase more than 200 percent from my daily revenue.”

The same holds true for Videothèque, which is just down the street from Dual Crossroads at 1020 Mission St., Suite J.

“Yes, this definitely helps,” said Mario Zamarripa, 46, of Vidoethèque. “These festivals are fun. A lot more people come into the store and it supports the community.”

South Pasadena Mayor Pro Tem Marina Khubesrian echoed all the previous sentiments, saying this festival was the best in her memory.

“I think this is the best Eclectic ever,” Khubesrian said with enthusiasm. “It’s bigger than ever before. The music is great, and I think combining this with the art walk was a fantastic idea. Also, closing off the street was brilliant. This festival is the best ever.”