Arroyo Seco is LA’s Response to Bottlerock (Day One Recap)

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And what a strong reply it was. Day one of Arroyo Seco just ended and it all came together beautifully and without a hitch. This is one festival that I’ve been to that was a genuinely pleasant experience from start to finish. The Southern California version of Napa’s Bottlerock, had a similar vibe, equally as tasty food options, and a legendary 80s/90s musical lineup. The crowd brought out moms, dads, and strollers, but also the cool babysitters that couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to take Instagram selfies at what is sure to become one of the coolest festivals of the summer.

The crowd consisted of people of all ages who enjoyed the food and perfect weather of Pasadena

From the moment I entered the fairgrounds (no traffic and convenient FREE parking) to the time I whisked through security and made my way to the stages, everything was smooth and effortless. Those are words that rarely come out of my mouth when describing festivals. From the many that I’ve attended I mostly complain about lines, crowds, and traffic. None of that was present today, as I flowed right through the grounds of Arroyo Seco to find a place to rest my tired feet and sunbathe on the beautiful golf course in Pasadena.

Arroyo Seco featured a wide array of food options

The food options were delectable and offered a wide selection of cuisine, from classic Italian dishes; authentic Mexican; Korean BBQ; to gluten-free and vegan options. Newest additions to the food and beverage program from last year included Los Angeles staples Wexler’s Deli and Barrel & Ashes, along with the beloved Burritos La Palma, Chilola’s Fine Filipino Tacos by Chef Michael Hung, and Chef Michael Mina’s Cal Mare.

Instagram celebrity model Brock O’hare could be seen taking selfies with fans

The bands on the bill Saturday included Neil Young and Jack White as the main headliners, with Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders also on the bill, as well as Kamasi Washington and Belle & Sebastian. The music takes place on three stages that are easy to find and navigate.

Tomorrow’s lineup looks to be even better than yesterday’s with Kings Of Leon and Robert Plant headlining, Gary Clark Jr., Alanis Morissette, Seu Jorge, The Bangles, The Revolution and many more. See below for a full photogallery of the event and check back here later today for more coverage.

Click Here for a full Photogallery

Photos by Louis Raphael and courtesy of Goldenvoice


An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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