How was your experience?
I hope that pot gets fully legalized sometime soon. Then maybe we can tell the pot smokers to go stand in the smoking area with the cigarette and cigar smokers... We've been coming to the Festival for five years now; the Bowl is always packed for the last two or three sets, but this was the first time we'd seen it filling up by 6PM or so. (We've never arrived early enough to see the high-school bands that open the show; we suspect only friends and family get there THAT early. Can anybody confirm or deny?) I think it's time for the Jazz Festival to rename itself to reflect reality; it's now the "Playboy Jazz, Hip-Hop, R&B, and World Music Festival". Which is not necessarily a Bad Thing, but at times we were wondering "what is THIS act doing here?" Without going into exhausting detail - Gregory Porter, Angelique Kidjo/Hugh Masekela, and Naturally 7 were awesome and well worth the price of admission; George Duke and Jeffrey Osborne were the headline act, but they're not really our taste. ("On the Wings of Love" is a great song, but maybe ten minutes is enough?) All a matter of taste, and certainly most of the audience were loving every minute of it. Practical matters: - The Festival starts at 3PM (with a local high-school jazz band, who might be awesome but we wouldn't know...) and closes at 11PM. - There are no breaks between sets; the stage rotates and reveals the next act, with just a minute or so of patter from the MC. (This year it was George Lopez; my favorite line of the night: "Keep drinking, folks! They can't catch us all!") - It's in the middle of June, so it's gonna be hot in the afternoon but will get pretty chilly by 11; bring a jacket. - The benches are hard; bring cushions. - There are plenty of big video screens and very good camera work, so visibility isn't an issue - but binoculars are fun anyway. - You can buy food and drinks at the Bowl, but prices are high and lines are VERY long; many people bring their own food and drink (and smoke - lots and lots of smoke...). - All of the official Bowl parking is stacked - the first cars to arrive are parked at the exit, and nobody else can leave until they do - so if you think you might want to leave before the end (or if you just don't dig on sitting in an endless parking-lot traffic jam) try parking somewhere else. (There are lots of entrepreneurial parking lots a couple of blocks down Highland, and park-n'-ride lots in Universal City.) - Don't even think about parking on the street in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the Bowl! - Traffic on Highland - both coming to the Bowl, and leaving it - is horrific, so budget lots of time. - If you buy your tickets through Goldstar, they will be waiting at Will Call. Pick them up by 5PM; make sure to bring your confirmation and a photo ID. (I was standing in line behind some people who didn't understand these simple instructions. Don't be that guy.) Have fun! The Festival is an awesome show!