September LA Events: Beer Gardens, Bands & An Eclectic California Crowd
The artistic, eclectic somewhat funky and very definitely stylish area of Venice hosts an annual celebration of its people and the place each fall.
It’s called the Abbot Kinney Festival, and it takes place on Abbot Kinney Blvd., between Main Street and Venice Blvd. (it takes place Sunday, Sept. 24 in 2017). It’s a huge street party that attracts nearly 150,000 people and has arts and crafts from vendors, grilling food stations, food trucks, bands and beer gardens.
Yes, that’s beer gardens, as in plural, with an “s.” There are three of them, each with a distinct personality.
The biggest one is at the entrance by Venice Blvd., and is kind of like a Vegas nightclub with DJ. It’s called the Brig beer garden and has tequila, vodka plus beers in the can. It’s at Palms Ave.
The tent at San Juan Ave., is more casual but is cranking with a DJ in a food truck of all things, playing fun-to-dance-to-music. If the Brig is for clubbers, then this tent is for lively pubbers.
The other tent is by the stage with a band and is more of a low-key hangout. It’s at Brooks Ave.
The beers are $6 and there’s a great variety of beers, but since beers at a festival are in great demand and you can’t drink in the street, there are sometimes lines to get into the tent areas. This is especially the case at the Brig tent.
It’s $5 for a beer garden wristband but you can buy a “VIP” pass for $35. The latter includes a single beer and front-of-line entry. That certainly provides more freedom to move around the entire event, check out the crafts, so some people watching, hear the band and do some beer tent hopping.
Speaking of bands, there’s music all day on four stages and the crowd is largely what you might expect it to be in Venice – a bit artsy, eclectic, quite a few people on dates but enough single people scattered about to make it interesting.
Traditionally held on the third Sunday in September, Abbot Kinney Days has been a fixture in the community since 1984. It runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and rises its peak by about 2.
Beer sales are cut off at 5:30, and around 5:15 or so, people start lining up at The Other Door and Hal’s to continue their beer drinking.