An Exciting New Music and Arts Festival to hit Pasadena in the near future! Pasadena’s City Council approved the Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival late Monday. Coachella’s parent company, Anschutz Entertainment Group, will put on the three-day event at the city’s iconic Rose Bowl and the neighboring Brookside Golf Course on Pasadena’s west side.
Officials from the Rose Bowl Operating Company and AEG have pitched the festival as a family-friendly and multi-generational event with space for bookstores, art and plays alongside big-named musical acts at four main stages. They’re picturing children and their parents, not necessarily the crowds they get in Indio.
“This is not Coachella, we are not coming here in anyway to try to sell you on what we do in the desert,” said Nic Adler, a festival producer for AEG. “We think there is a niche … That is what is going to make this successful.”
AEG and RBOC predict as many of 90,000 people could attend the festival daily, with music playing until 11 p.m. each night.
Adler said the Arroyo Seco festival would partner with Pasadena’s restaurants, the KidSpace Children’s Museum and local art venues to weave the “identity of Pasadena” into the event.
A bookstore with acoustic music playing in the back ground will work great with kids and families. “We think that really sets this festival apart from other festivals,” Adler said of the focus on the arts.
The 10-year agreement with AEG hasn’t been finalized, but the council on Monday gave Dunn the authority to execute it without bringing it back to them first. The agreement will include the possibility of two five year extensions. RBOC and AEG can end the contract early at years three, 10 and 15, according to RBOC.
Barring a legal challenge to the festival’s now-certified environmental impact report, the Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival is expected to debut in June 2017 in a smaller, two-day form.
Dunn said the festival could earn $90 million to $106 million over the life of the contract. That money is much needed after a costly renovation project swelled to more than $180 million in 2012. Dunn estimates the festival’s revenue will help pay down the RBOC’s debt and an anticipated $19 million in capital improvements needed in the next five years.
“We continue to have challenges, we feel like we’re in a much better position than we were years ago, but by no means are ‘there,’” he said.
The city-owned Rose Bowl uses its revenues to stay self-sustaining.
Each year, the three-days of music would generate about the same amount of revenue as five to seven smaller one-day concerts or sporting events, according to the RBOC. A dollar from every ticket will go toward improvements in the Arroyo Seco, officials said.
Neighbors near the Rose Bowl asked the council to make that a hard cap that could not change at the whim of the elected officials, but council members said they wanted to see how well the festival performs first.
Nina Chomsky, president of the Linda Vista-Annandale Association, said her organization worries that a clause in the agreement that would give the Rose Bowl the right of first refusal for other AEG events would mean even more disruptions in their neighborhood. A hard cap would be an acceptable trade-off for the three-day music festival’s impacts, she said.
“We can’t go from 15 to 18 to 20 to 25, because all of a sudden we’re offered wonderful activities,” she said during public comment. “It may be a tremendous success, but the impacts will be enormous.”
AEG plans to promote ridesharing and public transportation for the event, but ticket prices will include parking at either the Rose Bowl or one of five off-site locations. Those locations will bring guests in by shuttles from as far away as USC and Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.
The Pasadena Police department will be working closely with officers to ensure community safety.