Over 40 bands from all over Los Angeles and Long Beach took over nine venues along Anaheim Street in the Zaferia District, Sunday, as part of the fourth annual free, one-day music festival, Happy Sundays, organized by Long Beach husband-wife duo Julia Kugel Montoya and Scott Montoya.
The couple could be seen throughout the venues catching as many performances as possible as well as playing their own sets. Together they are White Woods. Their set at the Red Leprechaun reached overcapacity to the point where, for a moment, Scott Montoya’s own father couldn’t enter to watch his son play. Separately, Julia Kugel Montoya played later that night as singer/guitarist of the Coathangers at Alex’s Bar.
Each venue, ranging from bars, restaurants, theaters and yoga studios was filled with people looking to enjoy free music on a hot summer day, the last Sunday of the summer for those who might be on the Long Beach academic calendar.
If there was an award for accessibility, this music festival would win as it not only offered options to attend all-ages venues but free trolley rides for those wanting to make their way in between venues without having to walk or drive.
Each venue offered a range of genres giving Long Beach residents a chance to leave having learned about a new artist based on their genre of choice. Analog Records/Commodity Coffee offered their parking lot as an all-ages venue where bands such as psychedelic rockers Triptides and psychedelic cumbia punk band Tropa Magica played to an audience enjoying the music as well as refreshing bubbly drinks.
Sophia Gutierez, grandmother of Tropa Magica founding band members David and Rene Pacheco enjoyed the laidback atmosphere of Happy Sundays as it gave her a chance to watch from the sidelines and remember the times David, as a toddler, would only stop crying when she would put on Spanish ranchera music and the shenanigans Rene would get up to when he was young.
The yoga studio AYLB&OMFUB turned into an intimate music venue with the owner of the studio, Aimee Echo, who’s also the singer of the Start, performed to a packed crowd that headbanged and sang along.
Over at Alex’s Bar, Happy Sundays concluded with bands Kevin, Cat Scan and The Coathangers.
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