A hot time in Zaferia for Happy Sundays

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.

Julia Kugel Montoya, co-founder of Happy Sundays performing in front of a capacity crowd at the Red Leprechaun. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

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.

People packed inside AYLB&OMFUB yoga studio to listen to Aimee Echo and Jamie Miller play an intimate electronic set for Happy Sundays. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

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.

Long Beach residents enjoying cold drinks and music in the shade at Analog Records. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

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.

Complimentary Topo-Chico was offered as a cool refreshment at Analog Records. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

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.

Audience member dances along to the riffs played by David Pacheco of Tropa Magica at Happy Sundays. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

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.

Quincy Larsen of L.A. trio Kevin, playing a high energy punk dance set at Alex’s Bar. Sunday, August 25, 2019. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Over at Alex’s Bar, Happy Sundays concluded with bands Kevin, Cat Scan and The Coathangers.

Brendan Peleo-Lazar playing drums for Triptides, a self described “Sun-Warped Psychedelia” band during Happy Sundays. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Audience members took turns taking photos in the traveling VW photo bus stationed in the Analog Records parking lot. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Glenn Brigman, lead guitarist in Triptides, a psychedelic rock band originally from Indiana but now based in Los Angeles, plays on the Golden Road Stage at Analog Records. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Glenn Brigman and Patrick Tsotsos playing dreamy, psychedelic rock at Analog Records. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

David Pacheco, front man of Tropa Magica playing at the Golden Road stage. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Tropa Magica drummer Rene Pacheco and bassist cheers in between a song during their hour-long set at Analog Records. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Drummer of Tropa Magica Rene Pacheco trades his cowbell for a a can of Golden Road with an audience member in between songs. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

David Pacheco focuses with Rene Pacheco’s drum solo during their set. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Dancing erupts as the band shifts from playing psychedelic punk to Spanish cumbias. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

Aimee Echo, singer of the Start and owner of AYLB sings her lyrics along with fans who packed her yoga studio to listen to her intimate electronic set. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

A audience member takes a photo of Aimee Echo, singer of theStart during her intimate electronic set. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.


Kimi Recor of Los Angeles based synth-punk trio band, Kevin play at Alex’s Bar. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

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Sarahi Apaez is a Long Beach Post contributor who centers her reporting skills on photographs and videos. When she’s not focusing her lens, she’s focusing her balance as she bombs down the boulevards of Long Beach’s streets on her roller skates.