Downtown Santa Ana hosted six events Saturday, Nov. 4; Way Too Fun Fest presented by Top Acid, Konsept Art & Music Festival presented by Konsept, Noche De Altares presented by El Centro Cultural de Mexico, Blading Cup 2016 presented by Themgoods, the 3rd Annual Dia De Los Discos presented by Beat Swap Meet and the Eastend Car Show presented by Curious Entertainment.
Hundreds of attendees, each having shown up for at least one of the events, moved from festival to festival, which caused all of the events to intermingle.
Way Too Fun Fest at the corner of Fourth and French Street was perhaps the most chaotic – once the mosh pits began there was no stopping them. Teenagers and even a little boy could be seen crowd surfing on top of the large crowds that kept showing up in greater numbers as the day went on.
The attendees at Way Too Fun Fest were mostly youth and young adults as the event was all ages. More noticeable was the amount of skaters, hipsters, punks, hippies, metalheads and rockabilly kids coming together to see some of their favorite bands.
Meanwhile on Third Street, The Eastend Car Show was a perfect spot for adults and families, with an endless stream of classic cars. People set up canopies and chairs to sit and enjoy the DJ spinning funk records at The Curious Entertainment stage. They could all be seen hanging out and laughing with one another, many attendees taking pictures in front of the the cars on display.
Palyo Castro had his ’63 Impala posted while he enjoyed the car show.
“It’s a nice day to hang out out here,” Castro said, “all the cars are favorites, they’re all frickin’ (sic) nice so you don’t have to worry about looking for nice cars because they’re all frickin’ (sic) nice regardless.”
Noche De Altares was packed to the brim and ran several blocks on the west end of Santa Ana. The festivities included vendors, a wall for children to draw on, places to get your face painted in honor of Dia De Los Muertos, food vendors in every section and three main stages of music and performances.
Attendees from young to old were dressed up for the event and every families’ altar was beautiful and elaborate in its own right. Large portraits of loved ones who passed away were on display and even one altar honored past anarchist theorists who had passed away.
Mark Moreno came down with his wife and kids from Los Angeles just to attend the event.
“We come down here every year and it’s always beautiful,” Moreno said. “It’s great to see that the culture and these traditions are still alive even in Orange County.”
Dia De Los Discos featured more than twenty record vendors with people seen digging in the crates all day. There was also famous DJ’s in attendance such as hip hop DJ Breakbeat Lou, who put together the “Ultimate Breaks & Beats” compilations and Mr. B, who created “The East Side Story” oldies compilations.
DJ Klass One helped put together Dia De Los Discos and was enjoying the events in Downtown Santa Ana.
“It was pretty awesome,” Klass One said. “What can I say? It’s been a lovely day and we’re just going to keep on going.”
Klass One also invited some West Coast Hip Hop pioneers like Silky D, the first West Coast female, DJ Cli-N-Tel from World Class Wreckin’ Cru and former mix master of 1580am KDAY, DJ Hazze.
The annual Blading Cup returned to Downtown Santa Ana and featured pro rollerbladers all the way to little kids grinding rails and doing tricks off ramps. Crowds cheered as each contestant brought their own style and moves to the competition.
Anthony Pacheco came from Los Angeles to see the Blading Cup for the first time.
“It was amazing. There was a lot of talent out here. I’ve seen a lot of different tricks and it’s my first time in the city so it’s great to watch it for the first time,” Pacheco said. “I usually go to skateboard competitions, but rollerblading is the new thing. It’s a great sport and everybody should join it.”
The official winners of the pro-competition were Anthony Pottier in first, David Sizemore in second and Soichiro Kanashima took third. The winner of the open competition was Fred Bukowski and the winner of the veteran’s cup was Jeremy Townsend. Winner of the bladies competition was Manon Derrien and the winner of the 18 and under competition was Blake Lindquist.
The 1970s Fountain Valley punk band Shattered Faith headlined at the Way Too Fun Fest to a packed audience seen circle pitting and dancing.
Frontman Spencer Bartsch enjoyed performing for the crowd and was what he considered one of their best shows recently.
“I thought it was awesome. I loved this whole venue, the whole set up and Chris who put it on is awesome,” Bartsch said. “This is about the best show I played in a long time.”
Bartsch would definitely do another show at Way Too Fun Fest if asked back.
“Oh hell yes!” Bartsch said. “I hope that we get invited. We’ll be all over it.”
Vocalist of the band Pedal Strike, “Gnarly Charlie” and guitarist “O.T.” came all the way from Los Angeles to perform at Way Too Fun Fest.
“It was so much fun. I rode my bike out here 40 miles from Los Angeles just to be a part of it.” Gnarly Charlie said.
“It was fucking awesome. I was really stoked because I know Top Acid throws some of the best festival shows around,” O.T. said. “So we already knew it was going to be badass.”
Barber, designer and music artist Danny Keo of Rumorz Kutz performed on stage at the Konsept Music & Art festival and only wished that the audience was bigger for the stages during the festival.
“Man, the festival was great to us. Honestly I wish we could’ve gotten a little bit more people to get up around the stage just to hear and really listen and understand how hard these artists have worked overall whether it’s night or day.” Danny Keo said “It’s a love and a passion for them and I respect them so much. Shout out to them.”
The GRN+GLD stage at Konsept Fest featured live hip hop based electronic music, with many people seen dancing and DJ’s getting the crowds pumped up. As the day turned into night, more people gathered around the stage and started dancing to the various artists including Lobo Incognito and Dirty Merlin.
Probably one of the most interesting stage areas at the Konsept Festival was the Frida Cinema, allowing bands to play in front of their screens while strange yet mesmerizing images played across the big screen that were created by Astraviolet.
It was a peaceful place to go away from the chaos that was the street with people sitting in the theater eyes wide open, smiling like children as the light show drew them into a peaceful silence. The psychedelic bands played music that almost made the room seem like a dream.
It was a day of new friendships, couples dancing, kids picking each other up in the mosh pits, rappers spitting their souls into microphones. DJ’s were seen smiling as they scratched freshly dug records, rollerbladers showing off their skills, artists imagining new concepts on to concrete canvas.
Family’s had the opportunity to honor their dearly departed, a communion of classic car buffs and most importantly a sign that several different communities can come together on one block to create a safe space to enjoy life in Orange County.