Who got high at the Eagle Rock Music Festival?

Photo by BBMcshane/Flickr

Apparently a lot of people did, according to a story in Eagle Rock Patch. This year’s festival, held on Oct. 1, was notable not only for drawing record crowds  but the persistent aroma of pot wafting across several blocks of Colorado Boulevard. The topic came up at last week’s Eagle Rock  Neighborhood Council meeting, during which council president Michael Larsen said the festival had become ‘the new rave party” in the absence of Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction festival. The Patch story summarizes the council reaction:

Several members of the council commented—with varying degrees of analysis and alarm—about the blatant and rampant use of marijuana at the Oct. 1 Eagle Rock Music Festival. As just about anyone who walked on Colorado Boulevard at the height of the festival can testify, the air was thick with the pungent aroma of weed. And the fact that marijuana was being smoked not too far from the areas where programs for children were underway was a matter of particular concern that figured at the Oct. 4 ERNC meeting.

The story notes that despite all the pot smoking going on during  the festival, the LAPD apparently made no marijuana-related arrests that evening.


  1. “the new rave party”? What an absurd statement, stupid even.

  2. “The new rave party?” Wow. Larsen is so out of touch.

  3. If you say “rave party” you automatically lose.

  4. if you have a free outdoor festival with bands and fun activities then tons of young people will show up. If you increase police presence and encourage arrests then you’ll lose the young people and the festival will die. You can’t have it both ways. It’s just the nature of this type of thing…

  5. Newsflash? People were smoking pot at an outdoor concert? Groan, Eastsider.

  6. First, they seem to suggest that Sunset Junction was all about smoking pot. Well, I went there most of the years, and I never smelled any there. Of course, maybe the overload of police required of the Sunset Junction organizers discouraged pot.

    Let me see: It seems all was good at the Eagle Rock fest, no problems, all had a good time, nobody was out of line. But it is a horror because you smelled pot? Why, because you don’t like the smell? It certainly wasn’t because the pot led to any problems.

    Why aren’t you complaining about the people drinking alcohol? Do you like that around your kids?

    Could it be that there simply are a lot of ill people in Eagle Rock in need of medicinal marijuana? There is nothing illegal with that, and you are allowed to smoke it even at places like the Eagle Rock fest, unlike alcohol, which is not allowed outdoors in public.

  7. I was there and did not witness any “blatant and rampant use of marijuana” nor did was the the air “thick with the pungent aroma of weed”. Larsen is a well known (and ridiculed) one issue neighborhood anti-pot gadfly. His absurd statements get him quoted in media old and new and so he gets the attention he desperately craves. It is disappointing that the ER Patch editor Ajay Singh would write such an overblown and factually incorrect article (and then add an unrelated photo of a teenager smoking pot!) If there was that much pot smoking going on I wonder why neither Larsen, Singh nor the Patch put up any photos of attendees lighting up in the street.

  8. Nice moves libertad. You rocked that fool.

  9. Shouldn’t this article say “alleged use of marijuana”? File photos of a teenager smoking a joint are inaccurate and inflammatory. “Blatant and rampant” are also utterly subjective words that may or may not accurately speak to what was going on. There were no arrests for marijuana, that’s a fact. Please define this statement more clearly: “a large number of people at a community event are found smoking marijuana for recreational purposes?” What’s a large number? 50, 100, 2000? How do you know it was recreational? Maybe some of them have medical reasons. Please stop fanning the flames of what seems to be an overreaction. Accuracy is in order.

  10. Why the hell are people so afraid of weed ? seriously ?
    Get over it and move on already .

  11. I kind of love you commenters right now. I would like to see the organizers take action against these people for defaming the event and its good name with their unsubstantiated claims. I was there and did not see what this human spoke of. Just people coming together to have a goodtime and enjoy geeat music.

  12. From what I hear, lots of pubic drinking and enormous amounts of trash were the bigger problem. A friend more than a block off Colorado said folks were sitting on other peoples’ yards drinking beer, and trash was EVERYWHERE. It does sound like the Eagle Rock festival may have reached a bit of a breaking point. But I hope not.

    I would be more concerned about the fact that Eagle Rock crime stats have been up for about six weeks in a row. Of course, a bunch of stuff that happened Saturday added to that, but only for that week.

  13. Your Friend, Your Neighbor, You

    pubic drinking?

  14. Oops, make that “public drinking” — which I don’t really have a problem with unless it’s obnoxious. At least pot smokers don’t leave broken bottles and empty cans behind.

  15. i think “pubic drinking” is only happening in all the massage parlors that keep popping up 🙂

  16. Almost every Patch website I’ve read (and I don’t read that many) reminds me of USA Today newspaper… yes they provide some good articles on local matters but those are usually more local color than news but the actual issues are very watered down.
    I have a mental image of a sign about a Patch editor’s desk: “Make nice when you can and shame the sinners all the time”. I’m not attacking any of the local editors, but just don’t like the company that spawned them.

    It’s been my observation that Eastsider prints and links to things that they haven’t covered themselves NOT as an accurate report that they have verified but as an offering on the subject. Ok, we’ve read it and we’re reacting. Isn’t that really better than just letting the Patch reports sit on its own site and have the errors and discrepencies go unchallenged?

    Discussing the event on this forum (Eastsider) has brought forth more individual opinions positive and negative and I think people involved with the Festival will be more likely to pay attention to these comments and suggestions since it represents a wider audience.

  17. Who cares about the weed? Check out the LA NOW crime map for Eagle Rock and see all the cars that got broken into and stolen during the fest.

  18. I was there from start to finish, and yeah, there was indeed a cirrus cloud of weed aroma concentrated down by the little kids’ zone. (Plus public drinking, and a bum wetting himself right in front of the kids’ stage. Classy.) Worse, for me, was the logjam of humanity that blocked Colorado Blvd around the so-called “rave” stage later in the evening. While all the dubstep zombies were pretty chill (the pot helped), there was an army of nodding humanity blocking street and sidewalk on both the north and south sides. To get through them was impossible, so people (including those with little kids) had to detour below the police barricades near the 7-11 and fight their way up to the side streets, while the cops just watched. The ERMF is experiencing growing pains, and it’s something the organizers will have to deal with next year. There’s a way to do it — put the stage that attracts the hordes of “ravers” at one end of the fest, and put the little kids at the other, for a start. I’ve been going to the ERMF every year, and it’s always been full of the small-town friendly feel that is Eagle Rock; this is the first year that I felt like there were more strangers here than locals, and frankly, if it’s like this next year, I can live without it.

  19. If you spent enough time at the fest you could tell there were hordes with clouds of smoke above. It really was the bad element that groups like Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Killer draw, and largely limited to the ‘rave’ stage. This is nothing to do with the music these particular groups play; good or bad. Just pointing out they appeal to a specific type of music fan. For example, you could not book a group like Cypress Hill and not expect there to be a bunch of stoners smoking pot.

    This all can be easily fixed by booking different artists that have a different demographic appeal.

  20. So given the last minute reactive response to the Sunset Junction blowout and the positive/negative experiences here, why not have a similar grassroots type festival in place of SJ next year. I couldn’t make it to either event, but I dig the idea of a band playing at an auto body repair shop and donations in lieu of an enormous, street-closure level event. Breaking it up into several smaller “stages” and keeping businesses open late to accomodate/profit sounds like a great idea (if there’s planning like taking into account the issues mentioned above).

  21. who cares? it’s a music festival, and y’all are shocked that ppl were smoking herb? give me a break.

    for those bringing kiddies to the festival, why in the hell would ya? get a baby sitter, or be a good parent, and make the right decision to move to another part of the festival. does your kid REALLY wanna be at the eagle rock festival with tons of ppl?

    grow up hipster parents!

  22. Marc Levin, are you saying this because Flying Lotus is an African American? The same things were said about jazz in its early days…

  23. I ask because I am not sure what makes him and his fans a bad element. Did the police report more problems with this group than with the festival goers in general. If not, I see no basis for calling them a “bad element”.

  24. ultimately I could care less about pot; but technically it is still illegal, so not so sure why people are tripping out that someone complained. wouldn’t you expect that?

  25. “Pot” smoked at Eagle Rock music concert!!!!! Is this the beginning of a new “Rave Party”? Tune in to the Eastsider’s 11 O’Clock news edition to find out!

  26. I live a couple houses away, and walk thru the festival every year. Compared to last year, it was considerably bigger, and the calls for donations much more firm (e.g., you are funneled through a gate where donations are collected — different from last year). Most of the original charm has been leached away, unfortunately, as it has grown. It’s catering more blatantly to people in their 20s.

    The stage nearest my house is “The Ship” which is generally headbangers. It was considerably better in quality this year than years past — the crowd was cheering more. This is a plus.

    I think putting the dubstep stage in the middle of the boulevard was a mistake. Last year it was on a side street. Who knows, maybe the residents on that street complained; I would have. The speakers were way overtaxed, so the low end sounded horrible. And the crowd blocked the street in both directions.

    I walked through at 6:30pm with a group of kids. The pot smell — and I don’t care one way or another about the legal aspects of it — was quite oppressive. My kid doesn’t know from illegal, she just didn’t like the smoke, and the other kids were holding their noses, so we had to leave. Avoiding smoke is a healthy impulse, if you ask me. The parents who were with us were generally glad about leaving because there was nothing positive going on for us.

    In casual postmortem conversations with the merchants, there is a lot of general grumpiness. For the most part, the festival doesn’t fit the food model of most of the restaurants, so it’s not a business opportunity for them.

    My take-away: It has gotten too big, the donations, mass crowds, and concomitant rules and police presence are big put-offs, and it is not much to do with the neighborhood any more. If it was for more than one day, I think there would be a huge outcry from the community, but as it is, people are willing to live and let live. Having a city-sponsored festival not truly serve a broad cross-section of the community is a missed opportunity.

  27. A big man; This has nothing to do with race or the merit of music being preformed. The event was heavily mixed with White, Hispanic, Asian, Black, Young, Old(ish) Stoned and Un-Stoned. I am suggesting that another group would bring a different crowd, and that is the easiest way to keep the event friendly and accessible for all.

    The “Bad Element” I speak of is a mixed race of Stoners, many of whom are card caring Medical Marijuana users – whether they legitimately need Medical Marijuana or not is another topic.

    The Jazz musicians you mention might draw a different crowd – whom may also choose to smoke – but would likely be more discrete and responsible in their use.

    I have no problem with responsible use of any substance of choice, let alone a little weed. The question becomes would anyone consider what went down responsible use? i.e. would you consider it responsible use for someone to smoke in front of your child? What about down a 40oz at the playground? Event or no event, I don’t think that is responsible use.

    Now for the real question…. Is it responsible for a grass roots “for the community event” to accommodate a bad element that makes the event less friendly and less accessible for all?

    Remember folks it is a community event to benefit the community, so would it kill you to put your pipe down (IN PUBLIC NO LESS) for the betterment of the neighborhood?

  28. A big man; I mention race because my boyfriend is Black and the only thing he smokes is…. well, OK he doesn’t smoke.

    And hey, I like a little Snoop Dogg as much as the next jew. But well all know Snoop Dogg may encourage some pot smoking.

  29. Yawn…..

  30. @Hobohipster 1) your moniker says it all about your validity as a commentator. 2) “Who cares?” We, the citizens of Eagle Rock do. This is a community festival thats been going on for 10+ years and children are a vital part of our community and the festival. We LOVE the festival, and don’t want it turned into a rave where the main focus is getting high, regardless of the substances involved. There are children’s acts and activities, always have been, so the public drug/alcohol abuse is most inappropriate, and will lead to a quick death of the festival if it continues. 3) “as for bringing kiddies to the festival, why would ya?” Could you possibly be more ignorant or self-centered? My kids love music and food in all forms, and what better place to enjoy them than in their own hometown? Perhaps if your parents had taken you out in public more, you’d have a little more respect for your fellow festival goers. Grow up yourself ,”Hobohipster”

  31. It doesn’t matter what you do, there’ll always be the self righteous to bitch about something. Pot smoke? Get over it or go home. This little festival came off pretty well except for one glaring issue: parking, the perennial issue in ER. I saw people parking as far away as the high school and calling cabs for a ride up the street. I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if someone’s house caught fire with all the streets choked with people looking for parking places.

    Maybe next year we can arrange parking at the Rose Bowl or some other suitable spot and use shuttles.

  32. Your Friend, Your Neighbor, You

    why are you all talking crap about “raves”? they are awesome.

Leave a Reply to hobohipster Cancel reply

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *