The CEO of the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC), Darryl Dunn, got the idea for a music and arts festival at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California when he visited Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco. “It was a great vibe,” said Dunn. “It was fun. And we were like, ‘could this happen at the Rose Bowl?’ And we thought ‘ya know, maybe it can.’” The festival will be a mix of bands and DJs, art installations with food and beverage vendors.
RBOC signed a letter of intent last month with AEG Live to host a weekend of a music and arts festival at the Rose Bowl each year for ten years with possible two five-year extensions. Although AEG Live hasn’t commented about the potential festival, Dunn says the debut of the event could take place in the summer of 2016.
The proposed event leaves Pasadena residents feeling uneasy about the possible major disruption to the community. “Traffic, unruly behavior, littering, public urination, swearing, public drunkenness vomiting, trash; those are the types of things that the neighbors have to endure each time there’s a big event at the Rose Bowl,” said Geoffrey Baum, President of the West Pasadena Residents’ Association that represents approximately 5,000 households. “We can’t have a Coachella in Pasadena,” he added.
On the flip side, festival proponents like Pasadena City Councilman Victor Gordo argues that the single weekend music festival per year could provide a predictable revenue stream so that the Rose Bowl will no longer need to host less lucrative events throughout the year. Not to mention the added profit to restaurants, hotels, and local businesses. “This is not a rave. This is not Coachella,” said Gordo. “Coachella is successful in Coachella. Coachella would not be successful in the Arroyo or the Rose Bowl.”
The next steps are to gather feedback from the surrounding communities and undergo a six month long environmental impact review, so the music and arts festival at the Rose Bowl is still TBD.