Opportunities Open for Local Businesses at Upcoming Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival

Published : Friday, March 17, 2017 | 5:23 AM

With an exciting music lineup headlining Tom Petty and Mumford & Sons already announced for the Arroyo Seco Weekend, the inaugural Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival in June, promoter AEG, in corporation with the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, has released initial details about how local businesses can become vendors and participate in the festival.

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Little said they’ve had initial discussions with AEG and Goldenvoice about local vendor participation, and have started reaching out to local restaurants and food vendors to begin the main procurement process.

“Right now, they will be actively looking for local – and that means Pasadena area – vendors to supplement what they already use, and in fact a couple of our members are vendors with them in Coachella and StageCoach,” Little said. “When they came in, they said there was going to be a significant local participation, we certainly expect to see that happen.”

As an initial step after the discussions, Goldenvoice and the Pasadena Chamber have released a joint online invitation for local businesses to start exploring ways they can be part of the Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival.

Nic Adler, Goldenvoice CEO, said 30 percent of the lineup of food vendors for Arroyo Seco Weekend will be Pasadena-based businesses.

“We have worked closely with the chamber and we have sent a letter out to all of their members. We’ve also provided all the City Council offices with a letter for them in case there are inquiries,” Adler said. “We want to keep that goal of 30 percent of the vendors being from Pasadena because there’s probably not a better way to introduce people to Pasadena than through the food programme.”

Adler said food vendors and restaurant owners in Pasadena can send inquiries by email to food@arroyosecoweekend.com starting yesterday, so the organizers could provide specifics later on how the business end of the Festival will be managed.

Little has also published his email and a contact number in the online invitation for inquiries about business opportunities.

As envisioned by the Pasadena City Council, the Festival will be a family-friendly event and will be like no other music festival. Instead, the organizers will make sure the whole family is welcome and the bands performing will be family-friendly, and local art associations will be tapped to ensure that the “identify of Pasadena” is woven into the event.

“We’re thrilled to have this event,” Darryl Dunn, RBOC General Manager, said. “We believe this will be a long term partner for us and really plays into the greatest strength we have which is of course our setting. This is going to be a unique event that recognizes the Arroyo Seco and the Rose Bowl, our grounds, and we’re really excited about it.”

In addition, the organizers have also started negotiations with Kidspace Children’s Museum, to make sure the event has adequate programming for children.

“We’re actually excited to deliver the children’s programming for this,” Kidspace CEO Michael Shanklin said. “We are in discussions on what exactly that’s going to be so it’s very early at this stage. But I’m really excited because they made it clear that they really wanted this to be an exciting experience for children.”

Shanklin added that AEG announcing children 10 and under are free admission is an indication of the organizers’ commitment to make sure that families are welcome.

Aside from engaging Pasadena’s Kidspace Children’s Museum to help formulate children’s programming during the event, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce is also bringing in a number of schools so that students, from the Pasadena Unified School District and Pasadena City College, can possibly learn from the experience.

“We’re talking with AEG about supporting our efforts with schools and students,” Little said. “We actually had a nice conference call talking with them about how we can get students to sort of help with the music festival as they’re setting up so that they can see and experience how they’re working on it and then actually do things more formally during the year, and sort of see what careers are like in a place like AEG.”

Kidspace’s Shanklin is excited that the Arroyo Seco event might become a model of how music festivals could be configured in the future.

“I’m not aware of any children’s museum that has formally partnered with any music promoter on an event like this,” Shanklin said. “So we are optimistic that this is something that could very well set a trend and serve as a model.”

According to Pasadena City Councilmember Steve Madison, the inaugural Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival is envisioned to draw as many as 30,000 people.

Goldenvoice’s Nic Adler said they’ve had several meetings and dialogues with residents and neighborhood associations as well as local businesses and City officials, and the feedback they received has helped shape the Festival into what it is going to be in June.

“Our plan is to build this organically, take it slow, start these programs in one place and know that in three or four years, it would evolve into something else,” Adler said. “We really feel that we can do well in the first couple of years that will give the neighbors and the businesses in Pasadena the confidence to allow us to grow into something that will have real significant impact in terms of financial and economic effect on the community.”

The Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival has been on the drawing board since 2012 when the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC) Board of Directors acknowledged that the future of the Rose Bowl – especially its long-term financial stability – would be challenged by a number of factors, including increased local and regional competition by similar stadiums in southern California. The main concern then was how the Rose Bowl’s upkeep and future capital improvements on it could be funded.

In 2013, the RBOC began identifying a third reliable revenue stream aside from hosting the Rose Parade and Tournament and the UCLA Bruins, and started targeting an annual music and arts festival as a potential revenue-generating opportunity.

Later on, after contacting some of the top music festival producers in the country and conducting extensive interviews, the RBOC decided on AEG and its subsidiary Goldenvoice as the preferred partner.

RBOC is projecting income from the Festival to reach $90 million up to $106 million over a proposed 20-year period. The festival could also generate over 600 jobs for Pasadena residents, based on figures gathered from Rose Bowl events in 2015.

For more information about how local businesses can explore opportunities at the upcoming Festival, visit www.us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=9deaa8aeeea78706765a8f80c&id=81f45798a3.

For more details about the Arroyo Seco Weekend, visit www.arroyosecoweekend.com.

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