Silver Lake Jubilee unveils new location and $20 admission*

Photo from Flickr

The Silver Lake Jubilee, an indie music and street festival, had set itself apart from the much larger and controversial Sunset Junction Street Fair – which was cancelled last year – by keeping it simple and cheap;  admission had been only $5. But the third annual  Jubilee, scheduled for May 26-27, will cost a lot more to attend: $20, which equals Sunset Junction’s much criticized pricing. In an interview with Buzz Bands, Jubilee Executive Director Mark Martinez said he expects complaints:

“That’s something that going to happen naturally,” he says. “But all the complaints people had about Sunset Junction — I feel like we’ve stepped up and addressed them. We’re a very transparent organization as far as where the money goes, and what we contribute to the community. We’re really proud of that.”

Martinez said the price hike is necessary to make sure the festival The group provided a break down of where that $20 will go.  In addition to the higher ticket prices, Martinez said the festival, once located on Myra Street, will move to Santa Monica Boulevard.

* Correction: A previous version of this story said the Jubilee announced this year’s musical line up. That’s wrong. The musical acts won’t be announced until March.


  1. I appreciate the price breakdown however aren’t vendors paying some sort of fee to be at the festival? Wouldn’t this cost offset the ticket prices? Junction tickets were $20/25 on the weekend of (as opposed to the early admission prices) and it had a serious line-up. Can the Jubilee match?

  2. sad another SUNSET JUNCTION Deal, stared out as local event now $20.00 what a joke.

  3. They are also charging their vendors up to $250 for a space + $20 for vendor parking. Where is that money going?

    Also, 501(c)3 is for nonprofit educational organizations. How is the money going to support education in the community? Would that be the $10 towards “Community Programs”? What community programs, exactly? On top of that, the “Free Community Block Party” has an admission.

    At least ArtCycleLA is still an actual community event.

  4. wheres the line-up?

  5. At first glance my reaction is ‘whaaat’?

    But, IF they truly are transparent and the funds can be tracked and do go to the breakdowns mentioned in the link, then I guess I’m ok with it.

    Everyone wants something for free, or close to free, but I can see how a ‘donation’ of $5 probably doesn’t cut it. The only other option is to get Mega-corp sponsors (ala Red Bull, etc.), and of course that won’t go over well in our little niche of a town. Or to cut the variable costs (i.e., the $10 annexed for community programs, etc.).

    The issue with Sunset Junction wasn’t necessarily the $20 cost, but the lack of Transparency of where that $20 went (something like only 10% or less went to community programs). That and the ability to access a public street, which is another issue.

  6. Good point about the vender space income.

    I’m sure this will be a LONG and drawn out discussion for many months….

  7. Guess somebody’s gotta charge $20 now

  8. they unveiled the music lineup?

  9. “…the price hike is necessary to make sure the festival makes financial sense for the nonprofit group…”

    Anyone else find that as wildly hilarious as I do?

  10. Well it makes no financial sense if they lose money.

    They should release the finances from last years festival, when it was a $5 donation, before everyone here gets in a huge uproar (though it might not even matter IF they lost $$$ last year, to many–I bet).

    • Agree on the transparency. Having said that, I don’t see their financials on the website. Albeit, they aren’t required to post it however if they want full disclosure, one would think it’d be readily available, especially given the credibility issue of the Sunset Junction/McKinley song and dance.

      Are they going to find a line-up as strong as Sunset Junction’s for the same entrance fee? I don’t see anywhere in the price breakdown that includes costs for paying bands unless that’s part of “administration.”

  11. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, they are only suppose to be permitted to ask for suggested donations, not flat-out admission, and they are required by law to not turn anybody away for a lack of funds.

    Sunset Junction was shut down not just because of a lack of transparency, they were also not fulfilling these legal requirements of an actual nonprofit.

    They are also required to make their mission statement, tax records, and meeting notes available to the public. Where can we view these?

    • Exactly so. The “donation” hadn’t been voluntary for years, and the Sunset Junction area is not an affluent one.

  12. Sunset Junction was shut down ‘cos they didn’t come up with (or refused) to pay the city festival permit fee’s.

    Everything else was incidental.

  13. They refused to pay the fees because they never had to before as a nonprofit. It was brought to the attention of the city that they were not legally functioning as a 501(c)3, requiring an entry fee & refusing to allow entry to those who could not pay, so the fees were reinstated.

  14. Not specifically speaking to the rules around functioning as a non profit, do people realize the intense amount of work it takes to put on one of these events? It doesn’t just “happen”.

  15. Look, I’m sorry, but we just got rid of one music festival that charged $20 a head, serving to keep many local residents out of what had morphed into a major COMMERCIAL event. We don’t need an other to take its place!

    This is getting so irritating. I think we should set a policy that public streets may not be used for these private events if they charge, or at most if they charge more than $5. If they are charging $20, let them go rent a hall or a field somewhere. Why should we suffer an entire weekend of closed streets, loud noise and maybe boisterous crowds — and still have to pay $20 just to get in!?

    When you start doing the door charges, you change the basic nature from community event to commercial enterprise. Let commercial enterprises go to commercial space.

  16. Wow 20 bucks? The reason that would bring me to the Jubilee was the low cost, but now …

  17. According to their Facebook page you can get a weekend pass if you volunteer for 3 hours.

    • if they do offer the free pass for 3 hours of time, then thats cool. And they are telling us were the money is going (local schools and local programs). I have been a community memeber since 1997. starting in 1999 or so, I joined other community memebers in demanding to know were teh money raised from Sunset Junction Street Fair went and we never go an answer. The Julibee price has gone up but I wil support them due to their openness and their offer for free passes.

  18. I have to say that one of the reasons events like these can be so much fun is going with a bunch ‘o friends and/or see a bunch there, but I know that a lot will balk at the $20 ‘fee’ and many will pass, which makes it less likely for me to go, etc.

  19. Went the past 2 years, won’t be going again. Another rip off.

  20. even more “un-silverlake” than a $20 festival, is the incredible amount of whiners that live on this side of town now. I knew exactly what to expect when opening this thread up, and I’m happy to say that you guys didn’t let me down at all.

  21. Man you all suck. How much do you usually pay to see just ONE of these bands? 15-20 bucks?

    So to pay 20 bucks to see 35+ bands is not all that bad. Calm down and enjoy something for once. Or just sit behind your computers and bitch.

  22. When one fest gets too big and pricey another one always pops up to fill in.

  23. Perhaps I’m easily impressed, but I appreciate that the event’s organizers bit the bullet and were up-front with the ticket price now, rather than spend the next couple months dodging the issue, or starting low and then inevitably and “regrettablyl being forced to up the cost.

    I also went over to their website and signed up to volunteer for a shift on May 26. If I can contribute in some small way to helping the Jubilee be better: cool. If it gets me on for free: cooler.

  24. I don’t understand why there can’t just be a free block party celebrating the neighborhood, staffed by volunteers and paid for by profits from vendor fees and sponsorships. I mean it’s not impossible, Sunset Junction did it for 20-some years and Eagle Rock has been doing it for a few. Then if they want to have a fundraiser for these organizations rent a space, just like every other non-profit. The upside to that is you can charge way more than $20 and people will pay it because they don’t feel entitled as it’s a private event solely for the purpose of raising money.

    It’s unethical to close down public streets and charge $20, even if it is going to a good cause.

  25. It’s time to stop the privatization of public space. These streets and sidewalks, paid for with our tax dollars, are part of the public commons. Private entities should not be able to charge admission to places where we already have the right to be.

    • Exactly. These events are fine and dandy. However, once they start charging at the door, they change from being a public event into a commercial endeavor. Commercial endeavors belong in commercial space, not taking over the public streets on the pretend basis that this is community having a public party (parties do not have door charges).

      The event is fine — but not on public streets. If they’re going to charge $20 at the door, they should rent a hall or a field somewhere. For instance, The Echo has its own music festival — but in its own commercial space.

  26. Last year most people attended it as a quirky inexpensive diversion. The thing is only in it’s second year; I think the promoters are going to be sadly dissapointed when the neighborhood just says no, and it’s second year is it’s last.

  27. The Eagle Rock music festival is free. There is always a large turn out of vendors and festival goers.

    I wish they had raised the price to a gradual $10 instead of $20. It keeps lower income folks out of the equation which is never a good thing in my book.

  28. I’m a long time resident who also had a business at ground zero of the sunset junction for several years. I hate the sense of entitlement behind the idea everything that goes on in the neighborhood should be free if it uses any kind of public property. Besides being annoying its really naive in regards to the enormous effort involved. Its takes several core staff months of full time work to produce a music festival. The type of people who head such a effort are smart and skilled and are not waiting around for the opportunity to work for months so you can enjoy a free festival. Even if it is a nonprofit they deserve to be paid. In addition festivals are extremely expensive to run I could see how $5 doesn’t cut it. $20 dollars isnt that much and anyone who cant afford it can get in free by volunteering for 3 hrs. I also could care less if its for profit of nonprofit as long as they abide by the same rules that everyone else abides by. By the way to all the people who say why don’t a bunch of volunteers get together and put on a “community” festival for free why don’t you take on the responsibility then you’ll know why.

    I also want to point out this really isn’t about concerns for the community as much as it is about the $20 dollar fee. When it was $5 dollars everyone loved the little fair and no one even mentions Artcycle closing down the street being problem (not hating on Artcylcle, love they’re spirit,just making a point)

    On the other hand price aside I do think any festival should try and responsive although in the case of Silver Lake there is a vocal minority that will only except full submission and blood. They should at least be open and transparent about their finances and motives. And it is true that the Eagle Rock festival is free so a discussion about models for putting on a fairs should be part of an open discussion.

    • There is a ‘sense of entitlement’ because there IS an entitlement – for residents of the city to use the public streets their taxes pay for, unless of course unavoidable factors like construction prohibit use.

      People were okay with $5 because its really not a lot of money, so why quibble? It seems fair enough to cover operating expenses not met, and maybe have a little left over the plan next year. $20 is a different story, and again it’s not an issue because anyone’s doubting the amount of work that goes into producing such an event, but the appropriateness of shutting down a city street to do so.

      One of the problems with Sunset Junction in the past that led to so much bad blood is that people literally couldn’t get from point A to point B in their own neighborhood without paying $20. If the Jubilee were still on Myra I wouldn’t really care, but Santa Monica Blvd. is obviously a major thoroughfare, so they are essentially replicating many of the problems created by the Junction.

      As commentators on this board and elsewhere have pointed out time and time again, there are plenty of free festivals in this city and around the world. Not only is it possible, but it is in fact something that people apparently enjoy organizing. I think it’s strange that it doesn’t seem to be an option in this neighborhood.

      • Um just for the record you are NOT entitled to use the roads whenever you want. That’s why we have permits to shut down the street for festivals. Those permits are available to you, me and anyone else who qualifies. If you want a law entitling citizens to not be able to use public streets for events than lobby the city. But legally you are not entitled.

        As for enjoying organizing fairs not sure what that has to do with being paid. I enjoy my job but I don’t have the resources too commit to it full time for free and neither do most people including festival organizers

  29. Um, went the last two years and it was fun. Had a great time cause I felt like it was a real community event. At five bucks I could overlook the mediocre bands, the long lines for food trucks, and the beer garden/cages that were way too far from the music.

    I was excited to have an affordable event to invite friends to. The $20 is real money to a lot of people and QUADRUPLING the price, no matter where the money goes is just a dumb move.

    I hope they realize that if they truly want to make money for the community, stick with the five bucks to draw a larger crowd.

    Charging the vendors a bit more could be an option. If I were a vendor I would hope the ticket prices would be low to draw a larger crowd.

    I’ll say it again: QUADRUPLING the price, no matter where the money goes is just a dumb move.

  30. IF they have a music lineup worth 20 bucks, we will be there. If not, we will make fun of it and get drunk elsewhere.


    The Jubilee has to pay for… Permits, Police Presence, Security, The Stages, Sound, Backline, The Talent/Performers, Generators, Insurance, Beer/Wine and other incidentals.

    All of these costs add-up very quickly… and they are much higher than you probably think. If you think something only costs a few thousand dollars… think again… it’s much higher.

    • I’m sure it does, don’t doubt you there, but why not have it on a private lot – for example the Circuit City parking lot if you have to pay for a permit anyway? It’s just kind of inconsiderate to the community to shut down a major street for a $20 festival. It’s not an all-inclusive event at that point.

  32. Uhm, unless they’re handing out beer/wine for free (hardly the case last year), it ‘MORE’ than pays for itself.

    Plus, the admission cost isn’t the only revenue, there’s also the vender space revenue. Will they also post the revenue from that?

    I’m kinda neutral on the admission cost right now (not enough info for me to have a strong opinion yet), but being the poster above named himself ‘GetItStraight’, I figured some clarification should be in order?

  33. Also, all the performers are being paid??

  34. I guess ‘GetItStraight’ isn’t gonna set it straight?

    I’d like to know All the revenue taken in (itemized) from LAST year>
    > At the gates
    > At the beer/wine gardens
    > From the vendors
    > Sponsors/donations(?)

    And ALL the itemized costs.

    Being this is a non-profit and doubly since the Jubilee ‘wants’ to be transparent, why don’t they post this relevant info on their website?? Listing the breakdown of costs as fractions of this years $20 entry fee is quite vague since they have no idea what the attendance is going to be, so how can they figure the costs as a % of the $20 entry fee?
    As an example they list these amounts as the fractions out of that $20 entry>>
    $4 City Fees, Security and Insurance
    $4 Administration
    $1 Marketing and Public Relations

    The marketing and PR is spent before the festival opens, City fees are probably a fixed cost, administration costs are mostly incurred before the gates open.
    The only way to list the breakdowns via each $20 entry is to know in advance how many are attending (paying). My only guess is that they intend (or hope) to have a surplus of funds to roll over into the next festival. And this of course doesn’t account at ALL for the vender fee or beer/wine sale revenue, etc.

  35. I was surprised that they wanted $5 last year. I remember walking there and not having any cash the previous year. Well they did have some bigger acts last year. I remember seeing Ximena who used to be in Mexican TV shows.
    I completely agree with fleaman. why can’t we ever see all those costs and money that is made? if they really want people to support this stuff we should see it. Maybe one of the reasons they hiked up the price is to close a bigger street. This is beginning to look like the new sunset junction.

  36. Yes! put that Circuit City parking lot to use for once. good point.

  37. Sigh, another Silver Lake festival ripping us off.

  38. The Los Feliz Street Fair was Free last year, and attracted far more attendees and exhibitors than the Jubilee. If Los Feliz can afford to produce a much larger event, (for free) — why does the Jubilee need $20 admission? In a word, greed. It doesn’t seem like the Los Feliz Fair is happening this year, sadly, due to spats between the Business Improvement District and producers. According to printed reports, the producers wanted a 2 day event this year, yet the BID only wanted a one day. Common sense would call for a 2 day, if it could still be free. I agree that producers should not charge the public for entry into public Streets.

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