Dancing in the streets

There’s plenty of excitement in the streets of Pasadena when the Rose Parade and the Doo Dah Parade make their wildly different appearances each year. But Eric Lilavois is helping make sure there are plenty of reasons to party this weekend as well. As the curator and talent buyer for Make Music Pasadena, Lilavois heads a team that listens to submissions from thousands of bands and singers each year in search of the 150 acts that can make the annual festival shine brightest. With seven stages and a total of 25 venues to fill over 12 hours from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., the ability to pick a broad range of styles is the key to success. “Were very excited about the diversity of our lineup, bringing something very different and bringing it to nice, wide-ranging audience,” says Lilavois, who has worked with Warner Bros., Atlantic and Universal Records and owns two recording studios including the 4000 square foot Crown City Studios in Pasadena. “On the Colorado Boulevard stage, St. Motel and Surfer Blood are big highlights, while Andy Allo is one to check out on the Playhouse music stage.”Perhaps Make Music Pasadena’s biggest selling point is the fact that its stages and clubs are found in both of the city’s prime nightlife districts, Old Pasadena and the Playhouse District. That sprawling amount of territory for the bands will help accommodate the annually swelling crowds for the six-year-old event, which last year drew 35,000 attendees and is expected to be even larger on Saturday. Restaurants such as Bar Celona and Jake’s of Pasadena are hosting shows, along with bars such as the 35er and sweeping public spaces including the Paseo Colorado courtyard and Memorial Park. With a scope of venues like that to choose from, it’s easy to see that the fest has become the largest free music festival (admission is a $5 suggested but not required donation) on the West Coast.“We still have challenges with our budget and it takes a lot of miracles to pull this thing together, but the worldwide attention paid to the festival is substantial,” says Lilavois. “That’s really grown and the organizers of the fest over the years have done a great job of building it to a point where it can attract ever greater attention and talent.”

Make Music Pasadena takes place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at venues throughout Pasadena. Admission is a $5 suggested donation. For schedules, locations and more information, visit makemusicpasadena.org.