Viva Pomona - Downtown Pomona - July 27, 2013

Categories: concert review

The Lovely Bad Things
Viva Pomona
Downtown Pomona

Viva Pomona is a small festival of artists celebrating the locality of what's going on in Pomona's music scene. If you look at the landscape of Southern California's population under the lens of music or arts, it's hard to distinguish exactly where Pomona belongs. Technically, it's part of Los Angeles County Pomona, but borders both San Bernardino County and Orange County.

Within walking distance Pomona's downtown fosters two of the best venues Southern California has to offer, The Glasshouse and the Fox Theater. Pomona's DIY scene also thrives, harboring Aladdin Jr. and VLHS. Every year, as a part of the Vans Warped Tour Pomona's Fairplex holds one of the most attended dates and held a two-day Warped Tour stop for the first time in the tour's history.


What does all this mean? For such a small town in a seemingly random area, the culture of the city is deeply involved in the music scene. Commuting from LA, Riverside, or Orange County beach cities, Pomona has become a hub for music.

As I arrived to event, I was surprised to see that two of the stages were outside and free to the public. The only part of the show that needed a ticket was Main Stage acts like The Lovely Bad Things and Allah-Lahs, who were playing inside the Glasshouse. I could see how this could piss some people off since the online information didn't advertise any free stages and if someone bought a ticket they probably still spend most of their night outside where a lot of the bands were playing. However, the weather was great, the atmosphere outside was nice, and food was offered as a part of the Street Fair that was going on around the concert.

Tomorrows Tulips

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It is amazing how two people can experience the same event and walk away with such a different experience. I don't think the free stages would piss anyone off who purchased tickets. The open aspect of this festival makes it special. The fact that you can go in and out of the venues and not be held hostage like some shows was a major plus. Fencing in the stages would of not only interrupted the flow of commerce it would looked like a concentration camp. I also knew people who drove up with friends who did not purchase tickets (last minute) and all were able to enjoy the bands. 

In regards to the Glasshouse attendance, while many of the bands like Mrs. Magician, 100 Flowers, and especially Milk Music did not draw the numbers you would expect the characterization that for the majority of the night their were only 20 to 50 people to see Glasshouse acts is absolutely false. The Lovely Bad Things had a very sizable audience (you cannot very well crowd surf with 50 people- they had a good 250 plus easily) as did Gabba Gabba Heys (of course due to the fact that people weren't sure who the special guest was) and the Allah Las packed in people at the end of the night- my guess is 400 plus people.  Like many writers / reviewers I wonder if you shot into the Glasshouse and only got a snapshot view and didn't see the peak capacity of any given performance. 

Ticket sales plus comps for writers and guest listers was an estimated 700 and I would guess that their were roughly 100 to 200 people who just enjoyed the free stages. The vibe around the "radical stage" right across from Glasshouse records was, to me, the most chill. Like a backyard party the planters providing the seating areas. Was the festival perfect, no way- I would of just had two stages and done away with the small amphitheater which  tended to make people feel like they had to sit down but it was overall a super cool atmosphere and definitely the biggest bang for the buck. 

That is well more than my two cents worth. I generally like what you write. I thought maybe you were a bit put off by something at the festival that colored your view, I don't know. The incorrect date of the festival caught my eyes -- funny. We do agree on one thing. You Me & Us simply killed it. First time I saw them live and I am now a big fan.

Cya around-



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