Apr 23, 2012


As pretty much everyone out West knows the last two weeks have been dedicated to the gigantic music fest that is Coachella. With some of the hottest bands from all over the world coming in the festival is attracting record crowds. The only problem is that between tickets, travel and finding a place to stay, Coachella is most people’s big event of the season. That is where Brokechella comes in to save the day.

Brokechella was created by cARTel: Collaborative Arts Los Angeles a group of locals that specializes in boundary-breaking events and productions. The collaborative believes in sharing the experiences of art on a large scale and empowering everyone to participate. While they may not seem like the ideal candidates to put on a music festival their unique take on the event made for a night full of surprises.

The festival celebrates the indie scene in the truest sense of the word. If you didn’t know where the festival was you would think you had stumbled into the wrong part of town. That sense of danger and the idea that by going to the festival you were somehow doing something adventurous and against the mainstream, only managed to fuel the bond among everyone that entered the large warehouse that became Brokechella 2012.

Design is a key aspect in appreciating the brilliance that is Brokechella. Using the large Studio Six01 cARTel managed to create a real sense of community for everyone that attended. Not only was there room to move around but plenty to see and do. With bands like Infantree and Das Tapes playing the main room and DJs like The KiD, Smiles and Robin People playing outside it was possible to switch musical gears at a moment’s notice.

This may seem minor to most but one of the truly genius things about having a music festival in a warehouse is the sound stays separated. Even at major events like Lollapalooza sound is a key factor. If one band is ending just as another is beginning at a stage nearby, there is bound to be some sound overlap that can potentially ruin the show. But in a warehouse like Six01, the bands could be blasting their music on the inside and those dancing to the DJs outside wouldn’t have a clue. The thick brick walls do a masterful job of buffering out unwanted noise and creating a more individualistic musical experience.

Since the festival went from 4 p.m.- 2 a.m., it’s always good to provide distractions for the audience. In this case, cARTel went old school with a Ms.Pac Man machine, face painting, a shared art mural that everyone could contribute to and a DIY photo area. The DIY vibe was prominent throughout the night, even the DJ booth was held down by a bunch of bricks. It’s hard not to get the impression that if the party needed to be broken up for any reason it would take all of five minutes for the staff to pack everything into a bunch of trucks and leave.

Brokechella gives the eccentric and eclectic of Los Angeles a place to go to enjoy great local music for next to nothing. Coachella was just the excuse; one gets the impression they would have thrown this party no matter what the circumstances. Outside of throwing music festivals the group also puts on plays, workshops and live radio shows both in Los Angeles and New York.

Check out the event video here.