Arroyo Seco Weekend is the hometown festival you actually want to go to

If the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is a party in the desert, Arroyo Seco Weekend is a hometown street fair that just happens to be the same size as a small city.

It’s a festival where someone might go with their mom or their grandmother, and they’re just as likely to be dancing with buddies from college as they are with their toddler.

Goldenvoice, the promoter, calls the two-day rock, jazz and jam festival “multigenerational,” rather than “family-friendly,” and the crowds on the first day of the event proved the distinction right.

Jeff and Darcy Roberts, of Monrovia, came for Tom Petty, after getting a babysitter for the day.

“I like the crowds, it’s super laid back,” Darcy Roberts said, sitting under a shaded tent. Darcy Roberts said she grew up going to festivals like Inland Invasion and Lollapalooza, but Arroyo Seco felt different. The crowds weren’t as heavy, the food is a higher quality and no one feels like they’re in a rush, the couple said.

Lauren Dunning, 29, of Buena Park, and Adam Lentz, 36, of Fullerton, came with Dunning’s parents, who footed some of the bill to get the family together. Both generations said they were excited to see the bands, particularly headliner Tom Petty.

The group, ranging from 29 to 64 years old, lounged in camp chairs set up on a picnic blanket in the grass. Lentz said he felt more relaxed than when he’s gone to FYF Fest in the past.

“I feel like I can sit here and chill out,” he said.

Xochitl Castro, of Rowland Heights, brought her daughter, Juliet, 3, and son, Roman, 10, but the children didn’t feel out of place. She took them to a space set up by the Kidspace Museum where they played with instruments, created art and rolled around on a play set.

“It’s so convenient,” Castro said. “It is very open, you’re not crowded. There’s so much for them to do.”

The music followed Arroyo Seco’s slower pace with a line-up of…

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