You may or may not know by now that the Militant Angeleno loves to cover his local events.
And there was one major local event this weekend that more than a few of you went to.
But the Militant wasn't there.
Actually he was there, kinda. But just on the outside looking in, to snap an intentionally symbolic photo (pictured right) of the chain-link fence that cordoned off the festival grounds.
Now, the Militant knows what you're thinking: "The Sunset Junction Festival was just crawling with hipsters, so the Militant decided to avoid it at all costs."
But that's actually not an accurate statement.
The Militant isn't afraid of hipsters, just intensely annoyed by them. But they do no harm to the Militant. If anything, the Militant doesn't even exist to them, as when he tries to engage in conversation with them, they produce no replies. So that must mean that in their eyes, the Militant is pretty much invisible. Which...is just fine with the Militant.
So no, the "H" factor has nothing to do with it, at all.
It's just that (sit tight folks, especially you SoCal n00bs, historical perspective coming up) when it began in the 1980s, Sunset Junction was - a community festival (pictured left). It celebrated the community, in involved the community, it featured the community. Back then, there was a Silver Lake, but not really a "Silverlake." Actually, Silver Lake was really that hilly area around the reservoir, and maybe the parts north and south of it adjacent to the eponymous boulevard. Sunset Junction wasn't really Silver Lake, nor was it Hollywood (despite the fact a "Hollywood" community sign stands there (and until a couple years ago the sign had been there so long, it was colored black and not blue) on Sunset between Sanborn and Hyperion) - it was pretty much its own community.
But nearly 30 years later Sunset Junction is all of a sudden the "Downtown of Silverlake [sic]" or at least its proper central business district.
Okay, get to the point Militant. It used to be a free festival. It used to actually be a boost to all the local businesses, institutions and residents. Used to. This is not the Sunset Junction the Militant knew from his youth. No, the Militant isn't being a change-resistant reactionary here, it's just that the festival totally abandoned its roots.
Now it's (trying really hard to be) a freaking Coachella on asphalt (once upon a time, the music acts were all local bands who rehearsed at the now-defunct Hully Gully rehearsal studio on Fletcher in the AWV). It costs $20 (?!?) to get in now, which is more than the real people of the community can afford, it only benefits a certain number of businesses that are on the organizers' good side, it actually blocks off many businesses, keeping them from benefiting from the festival, has become a logistical headache (though okay, the recent arrangement allows people to come in from the Red Line, the Militant gives credit where it's due) and the music stages are racially segregated.
The last time the Militant was at Sunset Junction, he happened to go late enough that he got in at a discount. There was still some music going on, though he discovered all the white indie rock acts played at the Bates Stage and all the "colored people" acts played on the extreme opposite end of the festival grounds. The festival has been somewhat reconfigured, but the musical and racial segregation still continues. Why not stages that bring people together? Most of the other festivals in town seem to be able to work it. And oh yeah, they seemed to capitalize on the recent death of a certain soul music legend (originally booked to perform there) rather well (Shut your mouth!) But the Militant's talking about Sunset Junction!
But whatever. If you went to SJ, the Militant won't give you crap for it (besides, you already got crap to begin with, so the Militant won't add anymore). And when a recently-transplanted near-operative (you gotta earn these things...) brought up going to SJ in a conversation before the weekend, after the Militant dissed it, he still encouraged him to go "just for the experience." If you wanna go back next year, fine.
But it's just that Sunset Junction ain't the Militant's cup of tea.