Arroyo Seco Announces Impressive Sophomore Lineup

As we observe the shakeout from the recent years of “peak festivals,” various festivals have gone dark. Arroyo Seco last year had an impressive inaugural weekend which I enjoyed, and the producers have just announced the lineup for their second festival.

The event takes place June 23-24 on the golf course adjoining the venerable Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The big names will be Neil Young + Promise of the Real, Robert Plant & the Sensational Shape Shifters and Jack White.

Dwight Twilley

Robert Plant

Gary Clark Jr.

Jeff Goldblum

Jack White

Pharaoh Sanders


Seu George

The Bangles

Trampled by Turtles

Belle & Sebastian

Other notable artists include Belle & Sebastian, Dwight Twilley, Aaron Neville, Kings of Leon, Gomez, Pretenders, The Specials and Gary Clark Jr. Returning from his delightful performance last year is Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. Local SoCal artists include Los Lobos and The Bangles. The latter’s “Manic Monday” was written by Prince, and his music will be further represented by The Revolution, perhaps his most famous band. Also from the mid-West will be Violent Femmes and Trampled by Turtles. Hidden jazzy gems in the lineup include Seu George, Kamasi Washington and Pharaoh Sanders.

The promoters of Arroyo Seco are Goldenvoice, who know more than a little about successful festivals, having grown Coachella into the global gold standard.

The promoters have taken a page from the success of KAABOO and other festivals which skew slightly older, by target demographic by bringing a tightened focus on culinary offerings. Attendees at Arroyo Seco can avail themselves of food from Los Angeles staples Wexler’s Deli and Barrel & Ashes, along with the beloved Burritos La Palma, and the new and exciting Chilola’s Fine Filipino Tacos by Chef Michael Hung, and Chef Michael Mina’s Cal Mare.

Also drawing on local Pasadena institutions, the promoters have arranged with The Huntington Library for an interactive installation of plant and flower biology. The nearby NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be on site with an exclusive Intergalactic Travel Lounge (no word on whether you need to bring your passport). This year also sees the return of Vroman’s Bookstore-curated Little Libraries, scattered around the festival site. As one of the dwindling number of independent bookstores, Vroman’s is cherished by folks near and far. Festival attendees will be able to peruse books relating to Pasadena’s long history as a cultural center.

In a clever bid to instill the festival experience early, children 10 and under are free with a ticketed adult at Arroyo Seco.

Ticket information here.

Full artist lineup:

Belle & Sebastian
Dwight Twilley
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Jack White
Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra
Kamasi Washington
Margo Price
Maxim Ludwig
Neil Young + Promise Of The Real
North Mississippi Allstars
Pharoah Sanders
Seu Jorge
Shakey Graves
The Milk Carton Kids
The Specials
Aaron Neville
Alanis Morrissette
Allen Stone
Capital Cities
Fantastic Negrito
Gary Clark Jr.
Irma Thomas
Kings Of Leon
Los Lobos
Margaret Glaspy
Robert Plant & the Sensational Shape Shifters
The Bangles
The Revolution
Third Eye Blind
Tracksuit Wedding
Trampled By Turtles
Violent Femmes


Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.