Silver Lake loses another street festival

Silver Lake Jubilee on Saturday May 22, 2010 - Sunday May 23, 2010 on Myra Avenue between Fountain and Santa Monica Blvd in East Hollywood/Silver Lake area. Event drew many talented musicians/bands and 30+ food vendors and craft vendors to the area. It's a huge bloc party, well organized, and fun event. I parked at the $10 parking one street over and made it really easy to find my way to the event. It took me 3.2 hours to go through everything and everyone. Tommy Kim and I photographed roughly 3000 photographs between two of us together as a team.

Photo by Parker Knight/Flickr

After the sprawling Sunset Junction Street Fair collapsed in 2011,  the attention of many music fans turned to another neighborhood festival, the Silver Lake Jubilee, a fledgling but lively event featuring up-and-coming  performers and community activities.  But anyone who wants to attend this year’s Jubilee will have to go to downtown Los Angeles, where the organizers will hold the event on private property. In fact, the words “Silver Lake” have disappeared altogether from the name of the event , which is now known as the Jubilee Music & Arts Festival.

The change of venue was needed to get the Jubilee “off the street,” said Jack Martinez, who heads the Los Angeles Arts and Athletics Alliance, the nonprofit that produces the event. “It’s really hard to shut  the street down and build things over night.”

It has also become much more difficult to generate revenue from events held on public streets. Not only is the city demanding that event organizers shoulder the cost of street closures, many residents expect events held in public spaces should be free. Martinez said he understands that sentiment but that the Jubilee needs to charge admission to pay the artists, provide the necessary services and fund programs sponsored by the non-profit group.

“I wish I could throw a festival for free,” Martinez said. “But it’s not fiscally responsible.”

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In addition, Martinez said that the Jubilee, which was initially rooted in Silver Lake and Echo Park, had grown beyond its neighborhood focus. “In terms of coming into our own and figuring who supports us, we ended up finding out it was the music and arts community … throughout Los Angeles.”

Unlike previous Jubilee’s  held on Silver Lake streets near Sunset Junction, this year’s Jubilee  will take place on private property near Santa Fe Ave and the Sixth Street bridge on June 7 and 8. The property, which is frequently used for film shoots, includes a large parking lot and several buildings, which will contain performance stages. Right now, Martinez is busy putting together a line up of performers.

If anyone is interested in organizing a new Silver Lake music festival on city streets, Martinez recommends that they should be aware of the politics involved and be able to communicate well with a wide range of public agencies, neighborhood groups and residents. They should also expect that everyone will want the event to be free.

Interested in performing in this year’s Jubilee? Contact the organizers at

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