Last Saturday April 23 Broke LA (formerly known as Brokechella) brought another successful one day festival to young Angelenos: those short on cash, or saddled with unreliable cars or unreliable friends and some who just love dogs. For the sixth year Broke LA was a lively day of music and art in Downtown LA. The festival moved to a new location at Imperial Arts Studios in the warehouse district that was a compact, labyrinthine setting. The dimly lit maze of indoor and outdoor spaces gave the aura of a treasure hunt, with gems to be found around every corner if one was willing to venture deeper inside. (At right, DWNTWN on the Outdoor Stage)
The spirit of the festival is youthful, convivial optimism; everyone in attendance was a participant on board and bought in. Audience members made art and hugged puppies; security guards got down and danced to the bands. Foodies ate tater tots with every conceivable topping and then went back for more. Prince’s passing only three days before did not dim the spirits of festival goers who were mostly young enough to be born after “Darling Nikki” or “Little Red Corvette” had been retired to the eighties oldies station. Tributes rippled beneath the surface, bubbling up in art projects and DJ playlists, but lavender hankies were stowed; the Purple One’s spirit infused all music.
Bark LA (the former Puppychella) was again a highlight of the daytime festivities. At Bark LA canine best friends are invited to join the party. Watts Project and the Animal Wellness Foundation held adoption events for those who don’t yet have a pet of their own. These rescue organizations brought dogs and puppies available for adoption and allowed audience members to snuggle up with a pup and learn more about these no-kill organizations. There was even a Step and Repeat photo opportunity with a doghouse big enough for dogs and their humans.
(Festival Report and Photo Gallery continue after the break.)