City denies Sunset Junction festival permit*

Photo by bbmcshane/Flickr

The city’s Board of Public Works this afternoon voted against issuing the necessary permit to allow the staging of this weekend’s Sunset Junction Street Fair in Silver Lake. After a more than three-hour long hearing, the board voted 3 to 1 to deny the permit after the organizers  failed to pay the $140,000 to cover the estimated costs of providing police protection and other municipal services for one of Los Angeles’ largest street festivals.

The Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance, the nonprofit that organizes the 31-year-old festival, did not have enough money to pay the $140,000 in fees, according to officials who spoke during the hearing.  An offer to pay $50,000 and pay the difference in a few days was proposed but commissioners were advised that they could not approve a permit under such conditions.

In addition to the fees for this year’s event,  the city was also demanding that Sunset Junction organizers pay the estimated $270.000 in fees that have gone unpaid from the 2010 event.  The city can’t issue a special event permit without receiving payment in advance, officials said during the hearing.

* Update: The Sunset Junction board has launched a last-minute fundraiser campaign to come up with an additional $90,000 by Wednesday when the Board of Public Works is scheduled to meet again, according to attorney Phillip Tate.  That $90,000 in addition to the $50,000 already in hand would pay for the 2011 festival permit. The Sunset Junction board has “started reaching out to sponsors to make this happen,” Tate said. “They have had positive feedback so far.”

One of the commissioners who voted against the permit would have to make a motion to review the Monday’s vote.  “I would be surprised if they are not willing to reconsider it,” Tate said.  “The board of the nonprofit remains committed to making this event happen.”

Today’s hearing comes after a years of tensions between the festival organizers, including Sunset Junction  alliance chief  Michael McKinley, and Silver Lake business owners, residents and elected officials, including the office of Councilman Eric Garcetti. While many today praised the youth programs and community services that are paid in part with festival proceeds, residents also voiced complaints that the 31-year-old festival, which now stretches nine blocks along Sunset Boulevard, has outgrown the neighborhood. “Today’s street fair is a monster rock and roll festival,” said business owner Peter Choi. “It’s an outdoor beer and tequila festival.”

Sunset Junction Street Fair supporters, which ranged from musicians and youths who participate in Sunset Junction Neighborhood Alliance programs, said the festival and program it supports have helped improve lives and made Silver Lake a more desirable place to live and open a  business. McKinley said the festival, which costs at least $600,000 to produce, generates about $300,000 to support the alliance’s programs and staff.

“I think it’s been good for the community,” said business owner Melanie Tusquellas.  “It’s something that has help define the community.”

However, some of the speakers and commissioners said the city can no longer afford to let the Sunset Junction festival avoid paying for city services, including the cost of 150 police officers who work the festival each day.

Silver Lake resident Wes Joe said he recalls attending the first street fair, which was organized to ease relations among Gay and Latino residents. While the $20 admission and huge crowds has put off many residents, “some sweetness lingers”  from the festival’s early years, Joe said. “I hope you can work something out.”

Related posts:

  • Sunset Junction’s operating permit application denied. L.A. Times
  • Public Works denies permit for Sunset Junction festival. City Maven
  • Permit denied for Sunset Junction but city may revisit Wednesday if organizers can foot $141,000 tab. Buzz Bands
  • City votes down permit for Sunset Junction. Patch
  • City fees may quash this year’s Sunset Junction. L.A. Times


  1. Good riddance. They got special treatment last year that allowed them to avoid having to pay fees in advance, because they promised to pay within two weeks, and now not only have they still not paid last year’s fees, they want the city to allow them to avoid paying this year’s fees in advance again. All this while being a terrible neighborhood citizen, creating huge piles of garbage they didn’t clean up, hassling people trying to get to work within the boundaries after promising not to.

    Their word is worthless. They can rot.

  2. How can I get a refund for the presale ticket I puchased?

  3. Thank god. I think the board president said it best: “I find it offensive that you have hired lobbyists and lawyers yet have not paid one dollar for services that the our city already provided to you last year…you know the financial situation the city is in yet you refuse to pay for the services we’ve provided, not this years services but last year’s.”

  4. Too bad, so sad. They need to pay what they owe.

  5. I don’t know about “good riddance.” There was a time when this was a great, community-oriented event. It’s too bad it was cancelled instead of returning to its roots. Based on that quote though, it seems like they got what they deserved.

  6. Hanson? Headlining? I am all for kitsch, but c’mon.

  7. i for one and glad the city stuck up for themselves. this festival has ceased to be fun and is a real headache for me as i live in the neighborhood. i know the neighborhoods in SF have a similar problem with Outside Lands but that event is at least run by a competent group of people.

    who sets up a festival of this size and leaves the issue of permits up in the air until the week before. amateurs.

  8. Wasn’t this once a free (donations accepted) festival that celebrated the community , local bands and didn’t block off pedestrian traffic up and down Sunset? It seems to me it just morphed into another disgusting attempt at gouging music fans and the city while refusing to take responsibility for itself. Good riddance.

  9. Sad its happened, but glad in a way, I live on festival route and last year was not even allowed to cross sunset at 10am on the Sunday morning by the thugs who ran the festival… its has lost its family appeal I think.

  10. So, is this the ‘final’ word? Or can the festival organizers still save it (get permitted) if they pay up on the city’s terms?

  11. Another meeting will be held Wednesday morning- http://buzzbands.la/2011/08/22/permit-denied-for-sunset-junction-%E2%80%94-for-now/ it is not officially off yet.

  12. i’ve been wondering what was going on.
    THANK GOD ! Good for you LA CITY, finally.
    now i don’t HAVE to leave town this weekend to get away from the mess this ‘festival’ creates !

  13. @Veronica, thanks for the link. It appears to not be the last word.

  14. Its unfortunate that a lot events are being cancelled because the are unable to pay for fees and permits. And lets be honest the city tends to over charge for its services. takes 10 traffic officers to close one intersection, while they each earn overtime. It makes it nearly impossible for small community events to exist, the only ones that can survive are usually large heavily sponsored or paid admission events. However this does seem like a tale of a community event that grew to large for itself.

  15. THANK GOD… I really hope this is the END of this horrible event.

    Extremely RUDE event workers
    WAY too many drunk obnoxious people that attend
    Horrible traffic jams
    All surrounding neighborhoods get trashed
    The event really has nothing to do with its ORIGINAL purpose

    Need I go on?!?!

  16. Sunset Junction has turned into a joke! It used to be a unique experience involving diversified art, music and performance. The past few years, I feel like I’m walking through Santee Alley. There’s no longer art for sale…it’s cheap backpacks and t-shirts and socks??? And the music??? The bands they choose are depolorable! (And I can remember a time our band wasn’t accepted after submitting because we weren’t “well-known” even though we sell out huge venues across America. Instead, they had some woman that had a one-hit dance single back in the 80’s headlining that noone had ever heard of. So all I have to say is GOOD! Get rid of this festival (or at least the people who are now running it) and take it back to the eclectic artistic experience it once was.

  17. @off the street,

    how many LAPD officers do you think is needed to deal with a crowd of 20,000-50,000 on a public street festival? And how much do you think that costs? Remember, a typical LAPD cop makes a good $60k-$100k a year, plus all the undercover cops you don’t ‘see’, probably also terrorism security/planning, observations (undercover again). Then you’ve got LAFD (I see them walking around for fire code enforcement, plus paramedic units on standby i think?), of course traffic cops, LOTS of street cleaning/trash p/u, etc., etc.

  18. @ Josh

    I thought I was the only one who was effected by the workers, I was verbally assaulted by an event worker at 10am on the sunday morning before the festival even opened as I asked to cross the road (i live on hyperion) at sunset, he shouted told me to go F#$K myself blah blah when I told him what a stupid rule not let me cross….. he then continued to shout at me while holding a stamp waving it at me? disgusting person he was. I laughed in his face and went back to my house. I wrote to sunset junction twice about the verbal assault and not one reply.

    It has grown too big of a festival and not organized correctly.

  19. Born and raised in Silver Lake, I hope the festival discontinues permanently. From free to expensive, crowded and unfun. I hope the Silver Lake Jubilee becomes what the Sunset Junction once was.

  20. Well for someone who lives in St. Louis MO – and is flying out to LA – getting hotel & purchased a 2 day VIP ticket to this event – all so I could see Butch Walker and the Black Widows perform at the festival – this decision sucks! So maybe a good decision for some – but doesn’t do much for LA tourism or music fans – unless they plan on refunding my flight, hotel and tickets.

  21. so glad someone has finally put an end to the cash-grab. this festival stopped being about the community so very long ago. good riddance.

  22. From their Facebook page they estimate 45,000 in attendance over the two days. At $50 a ticket that’s $2.25 million in sales. And they’re crying that they can’t pay either $140k for this years expense or the $270k from last year. Also, does the $270k from last year include interest and late fees?

  23. @ Fleaman, have you ever stopped and thought about the fact that we are already paying these cops salary out of our tax dollars already? Their job is to Protect and Serve why do these organizers have to come up with an extra 170,000$ to pay cops for a festival they should already be “protecting”

  24. Yeah! Hipsters go somewhere else!

  25. @ANONYMOUS and @off the street-
    the Silverlake Junction used to be a FREE family based event for the community to get together. The only reason the city imposed these costs is because the organizers of the event have decided to charge $50 for what was once a free event. Please educate yourself before being so obnoxious.

    from: http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2011/07/sunset-junction-festival-and-councilman-garcetti-face-off-over-unpaid-bills/

    The city had waived all the city costs for permits, street closures, and other festival related fees for years. This was based on the agreement that the festival admission price would remain a voluntary donation since McKinley would be using public city streets and services. Two years ago McKinley attempted to enforce a mandatory entrance fee which was met by community protests. After a series of meetings, the local city council advised him that if he persisted in enforcing the “mandatory” entrance fees then he could forget about the city waiving the fees and he could pay them all himself in 2010. McKinley then proceeded to enforce mandatory entrance fees last year. He understood that he would be held accountable to the city for his greedy move but he has nevertheless decided to welch on his obligation and say FU to everyone. Not only is he not paying for last years costs, he is amazingly and arrogantly proceeding with doing the same thing this year as if he’s untouchable. He uses the perceived spirit of the fair as a smokescreen but the bottom line is he’s screwing everyone to line his pockets and wants us to believe he’s doing the community a favor.

  26. lady di-
    come down to LA there still so much more to do and more music to listen to. the LA music scene is any day of the week and the festival seriously is not all that. make it happen!

  27. Everyone who lives here is beyond sick of this festival. Its not about community anymore. Its not about good music anymore. Its certainly not about art. Its sparkle ended long ago. Just put it out of its misery already and let something else beautiful blossom.

  28. GOOD! My grandmother used to say that only a fool invites a rude house guest back again. Last year was obnoxious. The event employees were rude to the neighborhood residents, they stuck residents who lived outside the permit zone with ridiculous parking fees, they never cleaned up the garbage created from the event, and they had no clue about the traffic problems they created. Sunset Junction has become nothing more than a spectacle for corporate greed. Go find some other gullible neighborhood. Good for the City Council to call them on their sh*t.

  29. This from the Sunset Junction website regarding the cost increase over last year: “*The cost increase is necessary to cover permit fees associated with producing the Sunset Junction Fair. “

  30. I feel bad for people traveling here and for people who bought pre-sale tickets, but I agree with the many anti-Junction comments. This used to be a fantastic, authentic community event that catered to ALL the different subcultures that live on the Eastside. Over the past 6 or 8 years it’s turned into a colonial occupation of OUR streets by boring, bored, middle class indie-rock 20-somethings. I really hope it dies a painful death.

  31. @Deeb – Amen.
    @Lady Di – Maybe this year they can find a last minute private venue to move the fest, so that people who have already purchased tickets and/or made travel arrangements won’t get screwed over. It’s really not appropriate to be holding an $25 event like this on a public street though I’m afraid. Not fair to people that live in the neighborhood the other 363 days of the year and want to be able to cross their own street.


    HOLD STRONG SILVER LAKE and REBOOT for next year with the community in mind.

  33. BYE BYE JUNCTION! Don’t let the door hit you in the a** on the way out. (And by the way, we wonder why the City is going bankrupt?) PLEASE STAND STRONG COUNCIL and do not let this event move forward with the same operator next year!

  34. I just pulled this quote from http://www.sunsetjunction.org/index.php/street-fair/tickets ” As always, free admittance is granted to those 65 years and older and 12 years and younger. *The cost increase is necessary to cover permit fees associated with producing the Sunset Junction Fair.”
    What a joke!!!!!!!

  35. Bummer! I don’t think the tixx were going to be $50. The organizers really don’t have there act together!

  36. I wonder how many thousands of people will SHOW UP expecting the fair and not have a fair to go to? Don’t think it will turn into the Brittish riots but, could pose a few probs…just saying.

  37. As the edgy, hip, musically relevant headliner band Hanson might say: MmmStopped!


    So what are you saying? That anyone can put on a festival on public streets, block off admission to the public (by enforcing mandatory entrance fees), that said person can then name his own salary (from proceeds of said event on public streets), and expect to have taxpayer funded public services (LAPD, etc.) to police, manage and clean the event for free?

    If so, sign me UP!! I will start my own ‘fleaman street festival’ and you can be my point-man (or woman?), get me all those public service freebees and I’ll hook you up with your own pocket salary, LOL!

  39. “*The cost increase is necessary to cover permit fees associated with producing the Sunset Junction Fair.”

    I have zero trust in these people, based on this sort of discrepancy in their “official story,” let alone the way they treat the people who live, work, and operate businesses in the direct vicinity. The city needs to stay strong on this one.

  40. $50 entrance fee? Are you kidding me?!

    @LadyDi, ever heard of travel insurance? It’s cheap and useful. Try it next time. I had to use it once, and now I always buy it. And, I agree with the suggestion that you come to LA anyway. We’re expecting good weather this weekend.

  41. robbie pettersen

    lady di come to LA anyway and go to the Mint. Its the best venue in town. as far as the SSJ never had an interest and apparently they were not a great venue. not too many pos feed back from what I can read.

  42. @LadyDi,

    We feel for you, but the last word has not spoken on this issue anyway.

    IF the junction is actually cancelled, maybe we can organize an anti-junction party at some club/venue during the weekend. I think El Cid would be a good idea, will probably be plenty of people there with the same idea if there is no junction.

    And even if the junction still goes on, there’s nothing saying we can’t do a anti-junction party somewhere anyway!

    Just saying.

  43. As longtime residents who have been here since the first Sunset Junction Fair, we would say DON’T cave in, Board of Public Works! There’s traffic ( try getting out of your driveway) , street closures, trash, noise, drunks (who sometimes use your yard as a porta-potty) and rude event staff members. All for the profit of one individual? Once supported by the community, it’s unbearable for the neighborhood. JUST SAY NO!

  44. I’m glad. I live at sunset junction and the event is nothing but a hot mess of sweat, booze, smoke, garbage, noise, and inconvenience. Almost every local I know HATES it. Good riddance, go away!

  45. First of all, the tickets are/were $20 per day ($15 before August/$25 at the door) NOT $50 as many are incorrectly quoting here.

    And let me, as a neighborhood resident myself, come to the defense of this event. It’s not perfect, it seems to be horribly mismanaged and they need to pay their fees like any other street closure event, but I still love it. It was my first introduction to Silver Lake and it’s the reason I live and spend money in this neighborhood now. I like having a serious music festival in my backyard (the Silver Lake Jubilee is cute and all but with little attendance, nothing to do, and bands I’ve never heard of, it doesn’t count).

    I think two days of of parking problems is a small price to pay for the cache and and free neighborhood promotion that the event generates. I and all my neighborhood friends always gather together and walk down to the festival for a day or two of fun. At least in my circle, it will be sorely missed…

  46. Come on people. I KNOW the board will cave in on Wednesday and grant the permits. This is a brief scare. It would be sad if Art Brut flew here from the UK for nothing!

  47. Props to the Board of Public Works. The failure of the organizers to pay what they owe underscores their disregard for the community, as if charging more than what many locals can afford, excluding small businesses, and relegating local bands to a “locals stage” weren’t damning enough.

  48. What are you guys talking about? Nothing bad has ever resulted from mixing poor event planning, alcohol and twenty thousand people.

    Ordinarily I make approximately $3.00 recycling the discarded aluminum and glass that’s left in my yard after this shit show. Who’s going to reimburse me for that if this nightmare isn’t allowed to go forward?

    Good for the city council (I never thought I’d say that but when they’re right, they’re right).

  49. Thank the Board of Public Works —

    If it gets shut down this year, that should make everyone understand that Mckinley and the current regime does not have the support of the community, and they will step aside, leaving a gap into which more responsible members of the neighborhood can step in and run a street festival properly —

    It used to be fun, but the last few years it’s something primarily to be avoided.

  50. I’ve been disheartened by the event and its organizers for too many years to come to its defense. But I’m not so eager to cheer its demise. Instead I’ll only hope it can be rebooted as an open community-building event as it was originally intended.

    But in the meantime they ain’t finished yet, what with the late-breaking update that the organizers are desperately seeking corporate sponsorship dollars to cover their long past-due bills. Why the very idea of “Sunset Junction 2011: Brought To You By Toyota” just makes me want to vomit.

  51. Local to the event I used to hate the event because of the noise and traffic situation. Hey, I am 64 YO! But look! Many people want to experience music, food, the opportunity to be in the streets with cool people and just hang out, even with the $20.00 event ticket! I go and have a blast dancing and listening to music.
    So there are disturbances to the perfection of driving through and some disruption to merchants, take a look again, bourgeois suffers! Many people discover Siulverlake shops ‘because’ of the event. We need wild moments! We need to let off community steam! Lighten up critics! Let’s have some fun!

  52. I agree with some that the event gotten too big, too crowded and an inconvenience for us home residence in the area. I also enjoyed when the event was $20. For the weekend, now it is $20. Per day. No incentive was given to any home owners in the area for the inconvenience we go through every year.

  53. They will probably find a sponsor to give them the money …unfortunately

  54. Silver Lake resident

    As another resident who lives inside the festival bounds, I too would like to say that if Sunset Junction doesn’t happen, I won’t miss it.

    Actually, I’ll be quite happy! No Sunset Junction means that I am free to use my weekend (the two days I am not at work or school) to do my grocery shopping and be able to take my car with me AND not have to park two miles away from my house like I had to last year when I return. It also means there won’t be a bunch of flyers on my street, beer bottles on my front lawn, cars broken into on my block — and, heck, I might even be able to cross the street without festival staff harassing me! I had to walk a guy to my front door last year to prove I actually lived in the neighborhood. Absolutely idiotic.

    I’ve often said (as have my neighbors) that we’d be more receptive to SJ if they offered free admission to surrounding residents and closed off the residential streets to festival parking (resident only) — but I guess with all this permit nonsense, that would be too much to ask. I wonder where that supposed “permit money” was going in the first place! Not to the local residents who pay rent/mortgages, that’s for sure!

  55. if this is apparently run by a non-for-profit org shouldn’t we be able to see what they do with revenue from these events? i’m curious.

  56. Serves them right. They haven’t been smart enough or nice enough to treat the neighbors (who benefit from, but are massively inconvenienced by the festival) with any kind of courtesy or resepct. Now they’re paying the price. I love it when stuff like this happens. Now we can get organizers who get it, and want to actually have a *neighborhood* festival.

  57. The Sunset Junction organizers have been taking advantage of our neighborhood and using us as merely a venue. As “Kyle” astutely points out, if the proceeds are going to our community I don’t see it. In past years the neighbor was cleaned up prior and after the event. In recent years I have only seen wear and tear on our community as a result of this festival. Last year i watched as the “Bates” stage was pulled up and all of the trash underneath was left behind.

    How come there was enough income to pay for permits etc when the “Fair” was donation based entry. Now it’s a fenced off Festival with a mandatory $20 cover, and they’re having financial troubles? Silver Lake we’re being duped.

    Don’t believe what you read above, the Junction organizers are not victims in this case we are!

  58. Sunset Junction hasn’t been a community event for years. If they went back to how it was before they started requiring “donations” I’d support them, but it closes off the whole street and all the merchants to anyone who can’t pay 20 bucks just to get inside. I hope the board says no.

  59. Bye, bye sunset junction! Pay the city for last years and then front some money for this year.

  60. It’s quite evident that the community here does not support this so called ‘community event’.

    I was once a huge supporter of SJ, and have been here since I went to Marshall High, an original hipster if you will (always dreaming of playing on the SJ stage). But like ALL of my local friends and neighbors, none of us support it anymore (and it’s quite evident the same is true for the posters here and their friends). For my support to go from major pro to major con, it would take quite a bit of nerve from SJ organizers, and they delivered in spades over the last 4 years or so. We are the community and the community has spoken.

    If SJ is canceled it could make way for another promoter, I mean, community organizer, to pave the way for change and perhaps a new direction focused back into a true eastside event. I for one would think it would be dandy if the Silverlake Jubilee peeps took over SJ. They deserve it. McKinley has lost the right IMO.

  61. A bit of history for the record: Many readers will remember when the Sunset Junction festival was free, and served as a vital community event to build relationships between different ethnicities and the gay community. Organizers put “Security Monitor” Tshirts on local teenage boys, who strutted proudly through the event. For months after, car break-ins and other crime were almost non-existent. The organization supported some community benefit groups, such as the Tsunami Coffee House.

    Over time, things changed. There was a curious lack of disclosure about finances, especially where the money went. Free became “Donation Requested” ($3), then became higher and higher mandatory admission.

    That’s where things got more intense. The City’s permit for the event waives police costs if there is no admission fee. The promoter signed a permit app stating that there was no admission fee, but charged it anyway. Eventually, the city caught on.

    Meanwhile, tensions grew between neighbors and the promoters, especially businesses who saw not an increase in business but a steep dropoff (due to the higher and higher admission fees), and even difficulty getting to their shops. As a performer, I encountered thuggish security that refused entry to me, even though I had an official Performer’s Pass. As controversy grew and dialogue on sites became more heated, one of the members of the performing group I was part of posted a message that the promoter didn’t like, and as a result, got the group banned from future participation (even though it had been a participant for many years).

    Accountability also became more and more problematic, and the promoter has been less and less straightforward with the various agencies and councils. So now the City, having agreed to allow postponement of paying of the now-required fees, won’t allow the event to take place without actually doing what they’ve agreed to do.

    Meanwhile, Los Feliz Street fair is FREE, and Silver Lake Jubilee is becoming more popular. So why do we even need the Sunset Junction event anymore? Sad, as it was my first encounter with this remarkable neighborhood almost thirty years ago, and that’s why I moved here. I was impressed. Now what?

  62. Sunset Junktion is lame!

  63. Relatively new resident to the area

    When first moved into the area 3 years ago, I was excited about Sunset Junction because my neighbors talked it up. The only warning was that my street (Griffith Park Blvd) turned into Sunset for the weekend. As the event approached, I received a photocopied flyer announcing that due to the inconvenience of turning our street into a major thoroughfare, I would be getting 2 free tickets for each day. My neighbor and I went down with our significant others to collect our tickets on the first day. We brought our flyers and were greeted with scorn and suspicion by the people at the gate. A drivers license wasn’t enough proof for them, so I had to go back and get a bank statement. When I produced this evidence they asked for, they looked at my flyer and still denied me entry because THEIR flyer supposedly didn’t have my address on it. What BS. From that moment on, I’ve come to HATE Sunset Junction and can honestly say I have never had the desire to step foot inside the gated area.

    I wish I could have witnessed SJ in its glory as some lifelong residents have described. However, this has been my experience of the yearly (un)fair: expensive, combative/suspicious ticket takers, extremely loud nonstop talking over what sounds like a loudspeaker, drunken debauchery complete with shameless peeing on building walls and sidewalks IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, garbage everywhere, traffic nightmares replete with illegal parking and crazy volume, and finally, a strong desire to leave for the weekend or to hole myself inside.

    It’s clear that people are sick and tired of Sunset Junction and they see it as an utter failure. Not only that, but apparently McKinley has to step down if he wants to see anything good come from this sell-out of a festival. That and there needs to be full financial disclosure of this non-profit’s profits.

  64. This topic clearly stirs up a lot in the local community. Having attended the festival a number of times many years ago, I was impressed at the community spirit and the “coming together”. Sadly, when the fences went up and the lack of transparency over fortunes emerged, there was clearly a shift in atmosphere.

    I have since boycotted this festival specifically over the issue of the mystery of the money and what “community” purpose it was put to. I have also witnesses the abuses by event staff, and ugliness of a power grab in the neighborhood, as the festival moved from spontaneous healing response to local tensions to something more akin to a parasite.

    “Reboot” as someone said would be welcome, in the meantime I congratulate the City on it’s actions, let’s take a year off.

  65. Silverlake is my home

    10 years ago it was still a neighborhood event. When the “donation” to enter went into place, it seemed ok. But now, this is NOT a neighborhood event. Local shops close, residents (like me) leave town, and the week after is spent cleaning up. I’m single, but enjoyed when I’d mingle in the uncrowded fair with the large families I live near. Now, it’s too crowded and those families can’t afford to enter

    I was denied entry because I wasn’t going to pay another $20 for a second visit. Now, I MOVE MY CARS OUT OF THE GARAGE AND ON THE STREET. Perhaps when there is no room, we can reclaim this as a neighborhood fair.

    I won’t miss it. I hope the city hears the locals. Move it to the Westside

  66. SunsetMalFunction

    Oh Sunset Junction…. You could of kept it simple. You instead ,keep presented musical lineups with little to no curation. In a neighborhood with some of the most creative minds in all of LA. Musically it SHOULD be the coolest festival with Top Notch Artists wanting to grace the stages of the silverlake aesthetic. Yet it feels like a rundown street fair in Old Vegas. So I guess this year we won’t have to worry about vandalized cars, serial pissers in your yard, my son watching two guys in leather chaps fondeling each other, and the ever present dirtbags that put on the event. Good Bye, lackluster organization , community debauchry, and most importantly a horrible representation of how really cool this neighborhood is… Please , organizers go away!!!!!!! Eagle Rock Fest puts on better acts an its donation only…. Open to the residents and its great .Its time to shut it down…

  67. SunsetMalFunction

    I think the festival could be top notch. The community is amazing. I think it should not strectch for 8 blocks. I think it should stretch in the oposite direction towards Vermont. By going east you are invading too many homes and residential areas. You make it half the size and set a capacity. If you sell out you sell out. You get rid of the ridiculous carnival rides that only drunk people get on. You have only 2 main stages. One on each end of the festival. You set restrictions to the vendors for responsible applicants only. I encountered many vendors selling beer out of their jewelery booths etc…. You clean it up and not have grown gay men in leather grabbing each others nuts on the dancefloor and groping innocent pedestrians. That’s what makes the sunset junction not cool. It is a shame how many wierdos accend to silverlake for that weekend.. This is not your adult playground.. Sunset Junction you SUCK !

  68. I must say that I am looking forward to not fleeing the neighborhood this year!

    Sunset Junction…
    … takes parking away from residents
    … leaves trash behind for us all to enjoy
    … is not accessible by many residents due to exorbitant gate fees
    … actually increases crime in the area

    This is not an event that benefits the community anymore. It’s time for it to go somewhere more appropriate, like the field over on Spring where they have Fuck Yeah & Beer Fest.

  69. Silverlake leather

    The Sunset Junction was created to help the gay community and Latino community of Silverlake ease tensions. Silverlake was the gay “leather” getto. The mix of Latino and gay residents worked somehow. The leather chaps guys had made one area of LA county cool for them. Now, instead of trying to hide your eyes, I offer this:

    Look up people. You moved here because it is a magical spot in LA. A place for freaks and fashion, leather and lace, sex and civility. We lost Sunset Junction to a bunch of financially obscure promoters. Let’s not lose our neighborhood is a quest for conformity and hateful comments about our neighbors attire. Silverlake is better than that. Go talk to the ass out leather dude, instead of talking trash.

    My leather neighbor is cool. He listens to my baby monitor when I run to the store. I watch his house when he is away. I can’t pull off the “high leather” drag, but his flavor is part of my awesome neighborhood. If I want a sanitized place to raise kids, I wouldn’t move here. I’d be in the burbs. Leather has been in Silverlake longer than me, and most of us “breeders.”.

    Let’s enjoy this place and not work to make it our solo vision of how people act, what they should wear, and who they can love/marry. Silverlake is above that mentality. We are a community. And Sunset Junction is not a community event anymore

  70. I hope they don’t raise the money to have it. I cheered when I heard it might be canceled As someone who has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, this is no longer a neighborhood event and I could write everything that Kris10 said times 10.

  71. In the los feliz article I posted, it noted there were about 1,500 vender booths. Anyone know what the typical booth day rent is? I know that the los feliz street fair was charging a very low $300 for a super small booth for one day. I would suspect SJ charges at least 2x that for the larger booths they tend to have. That would be $900,000 for one day, $1.8m total for 2 days. Though I might be underestimating this by quite a bit?

    And I found this quote from LADPW Alarcon, interesting>

    “Alarcon said she found McKinley’s assertion that he had nothing to give the city, but apparently had enough funds to hire a team of lawyers and publicists and fair entertainers, “quite disrespectful.” Meanwhile, she said, Los Angeles, “is in total cost-recovery” mode.”

  72. Why in the world does the Board of Public Works seem to be willing to issue a permit to Sunset Junction if it will only pay this year’s fees, while ignoring the fact that they still owe $270,000 from the festival last year that they promised, in contracts with the city, to pay? Are the organizers really good faith partners?

    Meanwhile Board President Andrea Alarcon explained in the video posted on Patch that though she voted “no” on the permit based on this year’s fees (which are lowballed estimates due to the amount of overtime the city would have to pay at this late stage), she seemed to think that the Junction is good for the community –ignoring numerous community complaints as displayed in these comments, and overlooking the lack of transparency on the funding of Sunset Junction’s community work.

    It’s as if the the organizers of the festival are allowed to exhibit egregious behavior to the community and the city, just not TOO egregious. I hope the Board doesn’t go wobbly and end up reversing their vote on Wednesday. This would all be much simpler if we followed the principle that the public should not be forced to pay to walk the streets of their own neighborhoods!

  73. I wouldn’t be surprised if SJ is allowed to go forward this year, if only because of everything that’s already been lined up. Which begs the question, why are permits for events of this size only issued in the days before an event rather than months ahead of time? Are organizers allowed to wait until the last second, after the event has been not only set in motion but almost on the cusp of setting up?

  74. whats all the fuss; the REAL Sunset Junction already happened a few months ago.


  75. but seriously

    it seems like not many Silver Lake residence care for Sunset Junction Street Fair much any more.
    actually quite a number of my neighbors, here in Silver Lake, head out of town during the last few Sunset Juctions over the past years

  76. @jimbob-

    Responsible organizers line up their street permits months in advance, well before they start boooking acts, vendor booths and rentals for stages and equipment etc.

    The SJFair organizers waited until 1 month beofre the fair to pay for their street poermits AND they still had not paid for last year’s fees! And they had signed a letter of sgreement to the City for the amount due from last year. So they welched on last year and – even knowing the amount due wwas $140,000. – they still showed up with only %0,000. claiming they had no money.

    As Alarcon rightly chastized them: you hired lawyers, publicists, PR people and paid them, but you have not paid your fees to the city?

    It is unlikely that the City can mobilize police and fire servicoes in 48 hours for a fair of this size – and thats IF they choose to hold an appeal hearing on Wednesday.

    The greedy moronic fair organizers screwed themselves. They thought the City would back down, but the City held firm. Bravo Alarcon!!! I will remember her name if she ever chooses to seek elected office because she was fair, polite and just.

  77. the meeting is at City Hall room 350. Or you can email Andra.Alarcon@lacity.org she is the head of the Board of Public Works. A few ponits you may want to included in the email: What about the $267,000.00 form last year. SJNA knew they had this bill to pay for over 11 months but they still went ahead and sold tickets and booths. Street closer posting need to be up 72 hours before a street is closed and the fair is less they 72 hours away. PLEASE take the time to send an email. thanks

  78. I’ve lived in Silverlake for 8 years and have seen the demise of this festival. I also play in a local band and this Festival is NOT local artist friendly. There are so many great bands in this area that are denied year after year to perform in their OWN backyard! Besides muzzling great talent, they have discouraged local art vendors from participating in the Festival as well. Sad!

  79. BREAKING NEWS: ABC7 just announced that the city has denied the permit for Sunset Junction. ABC7 reports that the SJ festival will NOT take place this weekend.

  80. @fleaman

    There is no way Sunset Junction gets over 1,500 exhibitors. There wouldn’t even be physical space for that many vendors. The recent Los Feliz Street Fair (with standard 10′ x 10′ exhibit spaces, btw, same as SJ)had a huge amount of vendors, way more than last year’s Sunset Junction. Now it looks like Silverlake Jubilee and the Los Feliz Street Fair can compete for the hipster marketplace.

  81. Oh man its such a relief that we wont be having a SUNSET JUNCTION this year. Thank god … Honestly that festival is nothing but trouble. I went there once , and i was shocked on how many disgusting things were happening around me., not to mention men pulling out there junk infront of people , and making out in public. YUCK. .. i am curious on some things. If someone could answer these that would be great.

    #1 – At $20.00 a ticket + -50-100k people expected to attend this Junction + Sales of food , etc … where did all the money go to pay for back fee’s , and this years permit ? if im not mistaken thats enough money to cover last years permit , and 40% down for this year.

    #2 – Why don’t Legit SilverLake residents get FREE admission ?

    Seems to me like something doesn’t smell right.

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