It’s one of the most legendary and notorious places in the world–a stretch of blocks where the clubs gave birth to an unforgettable musical revolution. And to this day, fans on the Sunset Strip enjoy top-tier and cutting-edge talent in clubs that are all within walking distance of each other.
The Strip’s rich history, contemporary edge and sizzling atmosphere will be celebrated with the first annual Sunset Strip Music Festival, a three-day event set for Thursday, June 26, Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 in the City of West Hollywood. It is intended to promote, preserve and perpetuate the Sunset Strip Music Experience, which thrives today in clubs and theatres like the Roxy, Whisky A-Go-Go, the House of Blues, Viper Room, Key Club and the Cat Club–all of which are uniting for the festival.
A collaboration with the Sunset Strip Business Association, Sunset Strip music venue owners/operators and the City of West Hollywood, it is expected to draw 9,000 consumers, fans, VIPs, auction winners and music industry leaders. Legendary music from the past, present and future will shake up the notorious 1.3 mile stretch during the festival. The music lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.
Launching Thursday, June 26 at the House of Blues with a celebrity kick-off event emceed by Sugar Ray frontman/Extra host Mark McGrath, the festival will first pay tribute to Mario Maglieri, Lou Adler and Elmer Valentine, all music industry icons connecting the Sunset Strip to its past, present and future. It will culminate with a musical performance by a major act.
Performances by exciting artists will take place in the famed Sunset Strip establishments Friday and Saturday evenings (June 27 and 28) from 8:00 PM — 2:00 AM. An “Icon Roundtable” discussion moderated by CNN’s Larry King and comprised of music legends and industry experts will occur earlier Saturday evening.
From Bruce Springsteen’s now-classic 1975 performances at the Roxy to The Police’s explosive reunion show at the Whisky in early 2007, shows on the Sunset Strip are more than mere gigs–they’re experiences music fans carry with them for a lifetime. Night after night, no other music neighborhood in the world promises fans the choices that the Sunset Strip has to offer. On a recent weekend, music lovers had the opportunity to check out country legend Dolly Parton, rappers Too Short and Bun B, punk giants Pennywise, plus a showcase of rising metalcore bands, all in the same vicinity.
Celebrating its amazing musical history, which originated with the likes of Nat King Cole before bolstering performers from the Rat Pack to The Red Hot Chili Peppers to superstardom, the Sunset Strip’s evolution was augmented by the sonic revolution of the late 1960s. Acts like The Doors (who were the house band at the Whisky in 1966), The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix changed the face of rock & roll while performing in staggeringly close proximity to one another.
In the 1970s, artists like Van Halen, Prince and David Bowie catapulted to stardom and reached multi-platinum sales due to the strength of engagements on the Sunset Strip. When L.A. punk blossomed around 1980, The Strip was home to X, The Germs and Black Flag before hard rock giants like Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses and Jane’s Addiction took flight. In recent years, a new crop of bands–like Weezer, The White Stripes, Maroon 5, Silversun Pickups and Pussycat Dolls–have achieved mega-stardom after first getting their legs in area venues.
The Sunset Strip’s renowned establishments have helped sustain the most storied music neighborhood in existence, a notion chronicled over the years on releases like Bob Marley & The Wailer’s 1976 recording Live at the Roxy; X’s Live at the Whisky (1988); Tupac Shakur’s last recorded live performance from 1996, Tupac: Live at the House of Blues; Social Distortion’s Live at the Roxy (1998); Pennywise’s Live at the Key Club (2001); and Brothers of a Feather, the 2007 CD and DVD release from Chris and Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes at the Roxy.