Arroyo Seco Weekend Preview Promises ‘Multigenerational’ Appeal with Picnic Vibes

Last week, Goldenvoice held a preview event for the upcoming Arroyo Seco Weekend festival. Presenters provided sneak peeks about what to expect at the event, including food and beverage samples. The festival, which takes place on June 24th and 25th, will be located at the Rose Bowl grounds, on the rolling greens of the Brookside Golf Course. 

3D diagram of the festival and stage locations. Photo by Caren Spitler.

Arroyo Seco promises a fun-filled weekend which will feature local, organic fare, art, popup libraries and three stages for musical performances. Headliners include big names such as Tom Petty, Alabama Shakes, Mumford & Sons, Weezer, The Shins, and Andrew Bird.

This will be first annual Arroyo Seco Weekend; however, the festival has been years in the making. Four years ago, Festival Director, Nic Adler, and Goldenvoice President, Paul Tollett, came up with the idea for the festival while relaxing in the Arroyo Seco. Tailgating with beers and admiring the scenery of the park, both men agreed that the serene location would be an excellent place for a music festival. What followed was three years of planning and meetings with all walks of the Pasadena community — from city planners, to the old lady next door. Goldenvoice is now set with a 10-year contract with the Rose Bowl, which is celebrating its 95th year. 

The main focus of Arroyo Seco Weekend is to work closely with the Pasadena community to provide a festival which can showcase the culture, art, and food of the city. Popup libraries at the fest will provide books about Pasadena’s history, landscaping, architecture, and culture, while art by Pasadena locals will be featured throughout. In addition, 30% of the food vendors will be Pasadena restaurants.   

Craft mixologist shakes up samples of gourmet cocktails to be available at Arroyo Seco Weekend. Photo by Caren Spitler.

Festival organizers promise a laid back atmosphere, much different from Goldenvoice’s larger festivals like Coachella. This pacing is in part due to the location of the event — which is surrounded by family neighborhoods — and will have more of a picnic vibe. Indeed, along with gourmet restaurant venders, Arroyo Seco Weekend will be providing a picnic basket service. The baskets are curated by professional chefs, and can be reserved online prior to the event. 

Adler is promoting Arroyo Seco Weekend as a “multigenerational” event, which community members of all ages can enjoy. The Rose Bowl’s Kidspace Children’s Museum have organized activities for parents and kids to enjoy together such as DIY instrument building and themed photo opportunities. 

Nic Adler speaks in front of scenic Arroyo Seco Park at Arroyo Seco Weekend preview event. Photo by Caren Spitler.

Adler’s vision is a relaxed festival experience, stating that he wanted attendees to be able to, “sit down, put a blanket down, have your family run around, with your favorite bands playing…You’ve got your friends and your drink in hand.” 

This is only year one of the festival, and it is expecting to grow. Adler added that Goldenvoice will continue to work with the city of Pasadena to improve and provide the best festival experience possible.