Photo by McKenna Thurber
El Camino Real Charter

Echo Park Rising brings free music, excitement and danger to DTLA

In record stores, pizza shops and the streets of downtown Los Angeles, Echo Park Rising hosted a free four-day festival that featured over 200 bands and artists. From Thursday, Aug. 17 to Sunday, Aug. 20, all were welcome to enjoy the music, as long as venues did not reach maximum capacity.

Even though each of the festival’s four days proved to be unique, Echo Park Rising was most exciting on Saturday night. As the sun set, rising SoCal band, The Buttertones, riled the crowd into a frenzy with their energy. The group of young boys began their outdoor set confidently and coyly, knowing the crowd was packed with admirers.

img 3019 Echo Park Rising brings free music, excitement and danger to DTLA
Photo by McKenna Thurber

As they launched into their first song, the audience members forcefully shoved each other to form a mosh pit, unceasingly singing each and every lyric as they did so. The audience’s force became so powerful, in fact, that they broke down one of approximately ten metal barricades, which protected the stage from the energy below.

While the following songs approached and security guards held the barricade in place, the scene became dangerous.

The pressure of bodies colliding and crowd surfers shoving brought the entire barricade down, unleashing the crowd that trampled over photographers in the photo pit and climbed on to the stage. Minutes later, security guards stormed the scene, ripping teenage fans’ bodies from the stage and tossing them back into the audience.

One fallen barricade even pinned an elderly photographer’s ribcage against the base of the stage. She called out for the band to stop, but they played on. With the help of security guards, the photographers were quickly evacuated, all the while the band played through their impressive and well-crafted set.

Before the Buttertones had finished, packs of audience members began to race two blocks downhill to The Echo, another venue partnered with Echo Park Rising.

fullsizerender1 Echo Park Rising brings free music, excitement and danger to DTLA
Photo by McKenna Thurber.

As they launched into their first song, the audience members forcefully shoved each other to form a mosh pit, unceasingly singing each and every lyric as they did so. The audience’s force became so powerful, in fact, that they broke down one of approximately ten metal barricades, which protected the stage from the energy below.

While the following songs approached and security guards held the barricade in place, the scene became dangerous.

The pressure of bodies colliding and crowd surfers shoving brought the entire barricade down, unleashing the crowd that trampled over photographers in the photo pit and climbed on to the stage. Minutes later, security guards stormed the scene, ripping teenage fans’ bodies from the stage and tossing them back into the audience.

One fallen barricade even pinned an elderly photographer’s ribcage against the base of the stage. She called out for the band to stop, but they played on. With the help of security guards, the photographers were quickly evacuated, all the while the band played through their impressive and well-crafted set.

Before the Buttertones had finished, packs of audience members began to race two blocks downhill to The Echo, another venue partnered with Echo Park Rising.

Inside the venue, in a steamy downstairs room, hundreds waited for Surf Curse to take to the stage. The Los Angeles band got their start playing at a venue only a few miles away, called The Smell. In The Echo’s underground room, the band grinned proudly, seeing hundreds of new faces eager to watch them live.

img 2904 Echo Park Rising brings free music, excitement and danger to DTLA
Photo by McKenna Thurber

“It has risen,” guitarist Jacob Rubeck said of the group’s growing fan base, grinning.

Surf Curse’s three musicians each exerted an awkward yet infectious energy that the crowd fed off of, and fans immediately felt comfortable with them. So comfortable, in fact, that they invited themselves onto the stage, and danced around with the band members, before leaping out into the crowd.

Many individuals felt welcome to do this more than once.

img 2819 Echo Park Rising brings free music, excitement and danger to DTLA
Photo by McKenna Thurber

When their set ended, the downstairs room, filled with steam from body heat, evacuated.

Leaving out of breath from the excitement and commotion of the weekend, it was hard to believe that Echo Park Rising was free.

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