Sunset malfunction: Echo Park, Silver Lake businesses pick up the party

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Shereen Meraji/KPCC

Tony Essa is part-owner of BACKSIDE, a record and clothing store in Echo Park that is hosting local bands who were supposed to play at the Sunset Junction Street Fair.

If you haven’t already heard, the Sunset Junction Street Fair will not take place this weekend in Silver Lake. The Los Angeles Board of Public Works denied permits to the event’s organizers because of hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fees. But don’t give up on seeing your favorite bands, yet.

Just a few blocks away, the Echo Park neighborhood is going to pick up the dropped baton and run with it. Business owners have come together, scoured the Sunset Junction line-up and are trying to host as many bands as they can over the weekend. They’re calling it an “impromptu block party.”

Tony Essa co-owns Backside Records in Echo Park. Although he’s bummed there might not be as much foot traffic in the neighborhood without the Sunset Junction festival, he’s embraced the opportunity to host a handful of local acts.

“When it comes down to it we’re all young at heart. We all want to see music,” says Essa. “So if we can, we will offer some of what the Sunset Junction would have offered to Silver Lake and Los Angeles in general.”

Many of the bands will play at the Echo Park stores for free, but the bigger acts will cost you. The Echo and Echoplex venues will house some of the would-be headliners from what many in the neighborhood are referring to as the “Sunset Junction Malfunction.”

For details about which bands are playing when, and where, check their website.

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