By Aaron Blevins, 8/16/2012
The fifth annual Sunset Strip Music Festival officially kicks off tonight, as the festival will be celebrating The Doors, the legendary rock band formed in Venice that produced such hits as “Riders on the Storm” and “Love Me Two Times”.
Housed at the House of Blues, the tribute to The Doors will host some of the band’s members, who will be playing in the set. The invitation-only event will begin at 7 p.m.
“We’re looking forward to [today] being one of those Rock and Roll Hall of Fame moments,” said Nic Adler, the co-producer of the festival.
The festival is held annually by the Sunset Strip Business Association, and seeks to raise money to benefit the Strip and its many businesses. Organizers anticipate as many as 40,000 people to visit during the festival, which has been stretched over the entire week this year. Generally, the festival is a three-day event.
Quiet Riot, RZA, Hank III, Marilyn Manson, The Offspring, De La Soul and Bad Religion are among the acts performing on the festival’s three outdoor stages. Adler said the festival’s offerings will be an eclectic selection.
“It’s like putting your iPod on shuffle,” he said.
This year’s talent is twice that of previous years, Adler said. He said the festival has definitely grown, and efforts have been made to provide a better experience. For one, the festival will provide more lighting and visuals than in years’ past.
“We have in our mind that we somehow have to top the year before,” Adler said, adding that patrons will enjoy “next-level” visuals.
There will also be plenty to interact with when patrons are not jamming. The Bud Light Beer Garden and the Jack Daniels Experience will be on hand. The Los Angeles Kings will be participating as well. A rock and roll confessional will allow concertgoers to relive their finest and greatest rock moments, Adler said.
“You can’t just sit there with two chairs and a table and give out key chains,” he said.
Adler, who is also vice president of the business association, said the event has been nine months in the making. Set in an urban area, the festival presents logistical challenges, but it brings business and attention to the iconic strip, which is known for its music scene, he said.
“L.A. has an amazing music scene, and we’re just happy to be a part of it,” Adler said.
The proceeds will benefit that stretch of Sunset Boulevard — from Doheny Drive to San Vicente Boulevard — through the association, which annually provides marketing for the Strip, safety measures and clean-up efforts. For example, the association hires clean-up crews to clean the strip five days per week.
“It’s amazing how clean the Strip is,” Adler said.
Many area businesses will participate or benefit from the festival, such as The Viper Room. Its director of marketing, Brent Mendoza, said its one of the biggest events of the year for the iconic venue.
“It’s sort of our sweeps week,” he said.
While the venue has been celebrating all week with “great line-ups,” Mendoza said. Tonight, the venue will host Future Villains and Lady Sinatra, among others. On Friday, The Viper Room will present Mickey Avalon, Robby Krieger and Rich Robinson. Wax will perform Saturday.
“It’s huge,” Mendoza said of the event.
He said the festival is a group effort that benefits all the strip’s iconic venues, such as The Viper Room, Key Club, The Roxy, Whisky A Go-Go and the House of Blues.
“We do great numbers the week of the festival,” Mendoza said.
For information and tickets, visit www.sunsetstripmusicfestival.com.