Photo Credit: Jim Donnelly
The sixth annual SUNSET STRIP MUSIC FESTIVAL (SSMF) came to a close on Saturday (August 3) with performances on the closed-off Sunset Strip for more than 15,000 fans by headliners LINKIN PARK as well as AWOLNATION, BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, FINCH and STREET DRUM CORPS. Artists that rocked the East Stage included WALE, LOGIC, SLICK RICK & DOUG E. FRESH, ASHER ROTH and ZEALE. More than 30 additional artists performed throughout the day on the new Viper Room outdoor stage, as well as indoors at The Roxy and Whisky A Go-Go into the early morning hours. Festival highlights included surprise guests Chris Brown and rapper YG sitting in with WALE, Wayne Brady joining DOUG E. FRESH’s set for a freestyle session and drummer Adrian Young from No Doubt playing with STREET DRUM CORPS.
“It’s always an amazing experience to see thousands of music fans on the boulevard for a high-energy, celebratory event. We once again thank our fans, sponsors, the City of West Hollywood, artists and volunteers for their dedication to this annual music celebration. Each year the festival continues to grow, and we are happy to continue to bring such a positive event to The Sunset Strip,” noted SSMF Managing Director Karmen Beck.
“Whether you’re standing on the boulevard singing along to artists performing on the outdoor stages or discovering new bands inside the iconic music venues, the Sunset Strip Music Festival provides the best way to experience live music. This year’s music festival was no exception. It provided truly memorable moments – from honoring influential rocker Joan Jett to watching Linkin Park perform in front of thousands of attendees — and we are happy that we got to share these moments with our fans,” stated SSMF co-producer Nic Adler.
The three-day festival kicked off Thursday, August 1 with a tribute to 2013 SSMF honoree JOAN JETT, who performed a full set with her band The Blackhearts after she received the Elmer Valentine Award, which celebrate artists who have influenced The Sunset Strip. The award was presented by Mikeal Maglieri, owner of the Whisky A Go-Go and The Rainbow, and Nic Adler of The Roxy. The evening featured stories about JETT from iconic Los Angeles DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, comedian Margaret Cho, guitarist Pat Smear and Carmen Electra.
Following the tribute ceremony and rousing 90-minute show, JETT spoke with RollingStone.com and shared her feelings about being honored and performing again on The Strip. “It felt really fulfilling in a lot of ways. When I left L.A., it was with a hangdog vibe. I had the impression–I don’t know if it was real–of people laughing at me, saying ‘We told you it wouldn’t work. We told you girls couldn’t play rock & roll.’ That’s how I felt. It’s very humbling. It’s not the sort of thing you get cocky about. People are very sincere in their praise and you can’t take it lightly.”
Also seen on the red carpet and in the crowd cheering JETT on were Ray Luzier of KORN, Exene Cervenka and John Doe of X, Rudy Sarzo of Queensryche, Sophie Simmons, Kristen Stewart, Riley Keough, Matt Sorum and Kat Von D.
The festival also featured performances in the venues on Thursday (August 1) and Friday (August 2) nights, including Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts at the Viper Room, Ours and The Icarus Line at The Roxy and Hoobastank and Enuff Znuf at the Whisky. This year’s festival also featured a free outdoor concert in the lot across the street from The Roxy on Friday night. Presented by Jack Daniel’s and Swing House Studios, the outdoor showcase featured live performances, DJs and food trucks.
Here’s what’s being said about this year’s SSMF:
“…we personally dug the diversity of the 2013 bill. It was reflective of the Strip itself these days, which has expanded its musical offerings to include hip-hop, pop, and EDM, as well as swanky dance clubs and colorful restaurants. Hollywood and Silver Lake may get the scrappy, indier-than-thou set, but when a band is truly on the rise, it plays the Strip, where legendary rock icons were born.”
–Lina Lecaro, LAWEEKLY.COM, 8/5/13
“Taking cues from Austin’s annual music-professional pilgrimage SXSW, Nic Adler and the Sunset Strip Business Association capped off their sixth year of the Sunset Strip Music Festival (SSMF) Saturday night with exponential growth in attendance and production…Since 2000, Linkin Park has had few rivals in landing singles on the radio, and this night they played just about all of ’em…That arena-size intensity continued with crowd favorites like the handclap anthem ‘Wake,’ from the band’s Minutes to Midnight album. As thousands of onlookers flooded the street, the clapping followed an almost military cadence that grew audibly impressive, and in that moment it was impossible to deny LP.”
–Ramon Gonzales, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 8/4/13
“As ‘Faint’ charged into a cathartic ‘One Step Closer,’ Linkin Park had once again conquered the Sunset Strip. The Sunset Strip Music Festival’s ethos of multiple genres coming to life on one of the most iconic streets in America shined brilliantly in Linkin Park’s headline set. As long as these guys keep dreaming big, rock music will keep moving forward.”
–Rick Florino, ARTISTDIRECT.COM, 8/4/13
“Defying the chilly weather forecast, the sun blazed brightly over West Hollywood’s iconic Sunset Strip with a heat rivaling the beautiful people and legendary artists at this year’s Sunset Strip Music Festival. People spanning all walks of life, celebrity status (i.e. Ron Jeremy, Chris Brown and Wayne Brady) and über-questionable fashion selections stood shoulder to shoulder, united by music.”
–Aisha Humphrey, MXDWN.COM, 8/4/13
“The Sunset Strip Music Festival is ideal for two purposes. The first is checking out new and upcoming bands, such as Battle Tapes. The second is allowing yourself to drown in nostalgia…This year’s Sunset Strip was a great festival. My only regret is not seeing a few acts in the Roxy, but it’s hard to complain with so much positivity. There wasn’t any rowdiness aside from the occasional bit of moshing, people were generally respectful (and interesting), and the sound was excellent. I’ve got no complaints. Fans of rock owe it to themselves to come down next year. I know I’ll be there.”
–Marcus Slater, LAMUSICBLOG.COM, 8/5/13
SSMF 2013’s proud supporting sponsors include Jack Daniel’s, Gibson Guitar, Hornburg Land Rover/Jaguar, Bud Light, Monster Energy, 98-7fm, KTLA, Eventbrite, Guitar Center, City of West Hollywood, Visit West Hollywood, Guitar World magazine and Revolver magazine. Special thanks to 8950 Sunset Blvd., Inc., Clear Channel Outdoor, CBS Outdoor and ACE Outdoor. Street fest/event production provided by Swing House Hollywood.
MUSIC FOR RELIEF was the charitable partner for SSMF 2013. A significant portion of ticket sales will benefit Music For Relief, a nonprofit founded by Linkin Park that is dedicated to providing aid to survivors of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters.For more information visit www.musicforrelief.org.
Sephora/Kat Von D
Music For Relief
Swing House Studios
A Rockin Ice Truck
Rock Chef Rolls
Southern Fried Vegan
The Juicebox LA