One of the most cherished and anticipated events in the Santa Monica mountains is back for the 46th year. Hosted by the Topanga Community Center, the Topanga Days festival has evolved from a local strawberry festival to an event that attracts world-class talent with its homegrown bohemian charm. Topanga Days continues to draw more than six thousand people to the heart of Topanga Canyon over Memorial Day weekend.
With a nod to the past and a look to the future, Topanga Days remains a quintessential Southern California experience. Part music festival and part hometown fair, this three-day, family-friendly event includes musical acts on two stages, old school contests and games, a Fun Zone, local artisans, craft vendors, amazing food, and the ever popular and widely anticipated Memorial Day parade.
This year’s headlining musical talent Includes Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real; Grammy Award-winning Fantastic Negrito and LA’s own ORGONE. Over the course of three days, more than 28 acts will perform on two stages. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, stay hydrated, put on sunblock and sit, dance, and relax while enjoying the warm hospitality and beautiful weather of the Santa Monica mountains.
Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real (POTR), the Memorial Day headliner on Monday, May 27, has many longtime fans in Topanga and played on the main stage years ago. TCC is excited to have them back. This American country rock group, based in California, embodies the spirit of Topanga and has ties to our beautiful canyon. Lukas Nelson has been putting himself on the map as a talented songwriter and performer and his profile continues to rise. He contributed three songs and his heavenly vocals to his dad, Willie Nelson’s 2012 album, Heroes. Since then, Lukas and POTR have been performing as the regular touring band of former Topanga resident Neil Young, yet another fabulous tie to our community.
Most recently, Nelson co-produced the music and contributed to the Oscar-nominated soundtrack for the film A Star Is Born, collaborating with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper and appearing in the film as part of Cooper’s band. (http://lukasnelson.com)
Fantastic Negrito, is the headliner on Sunday, May 26. The two-time Grammy® award-winning singer-songwriter Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, better known by his stage name Fantastic Negrito, brings his unique style of blues, R&B, and roots music to Topanga for the first time. Recognized this year in the Contemporary Blues Album category for his album, Please Don’t Be Dead, he was also a Grammy winner in the same category for his 2016 album The Last Days of Oakland. (https://fantasticnegrito.com)
ORGONE headlines on Saturday, May 25. LA-based ORGONE blends funk and California soul for a unique sound that really gets audiences moving. Their new album, Reasons, has launched a 2019 tour that has dance floors packed as they channel funk, soul, and rock. (http://www.orgonespace.com)
In addition to the headliners, Topanga Days will feature 11 other great bands, such as Pearl, Venice, The Greenhorn Brothers, Pete Pidgeon & Arcoda, and The Disparrows on the mainstage, plus 15 more on the Corral Stage in the Community House.
Popular with children and adults alike, the contests and games are a highlight of the weekend. The Egg Toss, Three-Legged Race, Baby Derby, Bubble Gum Blowing, and Pie Eating contest are among the weekend’s many contests that make for unparalleled excitement between musical acts. For the kids are the ever-popular Fun Zone with bounce houses, face painting, and human whack-a-mole.
Another high point of the weekend is the feel-good Topanga Days Memorial Day Parade on Monday morning, May 27. The community’s creativity and vibrant personality is magnificently displayed through an array of original floats that capture the essence of Topanga. The parade ends at the entrance of the Topanga Community Center, where the festival continues with a flag-raising ceremony honoring members of the military. All members of the armed forces and their families, past and present, with military I.D., receive free entrance to the Festival on Monday, May 27.
Food fare ranges from BBQ and pizza to Mexican and Thai vegan, with old-fashioned kettle corn, funnel cakes, ice cream, smoothies, and much more. There will be beer, wine and the TCC’s popular sangria bar for those with proper ID. Parking is available on Topanga Canyon Boulevard with a free shuttle service throughout the weekend. Limited ADA accessible parking is provided on the Community House grounds. Only service animals with appropriate and current papers, wearing proper designation, are allowed.
Topanga Community Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1949. The organization is dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the Topanga Community House and its surrounding grounds. The TCC is one of the only privately funded, public community spaces left in California, which means that it is not supported by tax dollars, so fundraising is crucial for its survival. 2017 marked an official name change from the Topanga Community Club to the Topanga Community Center to better reflect the organization’s mission to serve the community with low-cost programs for children, tweens and seniors. Topanga Days is its main fundraiser of the year, and still boasts very inexpensive ticket prices for an entire day of concerts and outdoor entertainment.
More information about Topanga Days and pre-purchase of tickets can be found at topangadays.com