Arroyo Seco Weekend 2018 | 5 things I really enjoyed about the festival


The Arroyo Seco Weekend two-day festival returned to Pasadena this weekend and Goldenvoice, the promoter behind the fest along with Coachella and Stagecoach, really stepped up their game for the 2nd installment. Here are five things I really enjoyed about the festival.

The Layout

A drone shot from high above the Arroyo Seco Weekend music festival in Pasadena (Image: Goldenvoice)

After plenty of complaints about the lack of actually being able to see any of the headliners perform at the first Arroyo Seco in 2017, Goldenvoice changed the entire layout of the festival, moving anything and everything from where it was the first year. The stages were moved to areas without as many trees blocking the view and limitations were put in place as to where attendees could place chairs and blankets. This all meant you could actually see Jack White and the Pretenders perform. This was a good thing.


The fest also felt more open and sprawling than it did in its first year, with more tucked away places to enjoy some food or just relax in the shade.

The Atmosphere

Arroyo Seco Weekend offered up plenty of picturesque views


Arroyo Seco Weekend has way more chill than Coachella and Stagecoach.  Whereas Coachella sees fans rushing around from stage to stage so as not to miss a surprise performer, the crowd at Arroyo Seco is more about taking a leisurely stroll between The Oaks and Sycamore stages.

Festival organizers also allowed for plenty of time between acts so people could get to where they wanted to be.

The Food

A burger from Monty’s at the 2018 Arroyo Seco Weekend (Goldenvoice)

I was pretty impressed with the food at Arroyo Seco Weekend.  I know everyone always talks about the grub at Coachella, but most of the really good stuff always ends up in the VIP section and is not accessible by most fans.

Arroyo Seco Weekend offered up tons of options from some great Southern California eateries.  I really enjoyed a super tasty pastrami crunch wrap from Freedman’s.

A pastrami crunch wrap from Freedman’s at Arroyo Seco Weekend (Goldenvoice)

My wife had a rad vegan burrito for dinner from Cena Vegan and everywhere I looked people were grabbing up Cena Vegan’s nachos because, well, look at them!!!

The Drinks

While Stagecoach offers up plenty of Budweiser beer for cowboys to pound, Arroyo Seco Weekend has some really cool craft cocktail things going on.  Glenfiddich was on hand with a cocktail dome…

The Glenfiddich cocktail dome which not only had three craft drinks, but also was cold af due to blasting air conditioning – which was a nice break during the day.

The Scotch whiskey makers had some cool stuff going on inside, including these things where you could taste their booze by simply inhaling steam through your mouth.

The Glenfiddich dome featured these contraptions which let you taste the Scotch Whiskey by breathing the steamed alcohol in through your mouth.

And, since they had some impressive offerings like a Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotch Whiskey and an IPA Barrel Aged Scotch Whiskey, this was pretty neat.

They also served up some really awesome drinks.

The “Hip Hop” – a cocktail made from Glenfiddich IPA Cask Reserve , maple syrup, lemon, Bitterman’s hellfire shrub, and IPA beer.

And Glenfiddich wasn’t the only one, Hendrick’s Gin was on hand slingin’ cocktails too.

Now, sure, these cocktails weren’t cheap – coming in at $16.  But, seeing as though it’s a festival, they really weren’t all that expensive either as if you ordered them at a Pasadena bar they probably wouldn’t have been just as much.  Plus, Arroyo Seco Weekend isn’t about getting fucked up, it’s about catching a nice buzz and actually enjoying your drink, rather than just pounding your beer as fast as you can.

Speaking of beer, there was also several local breweries on hand.

Craft beer barns at the 2018 Arroyo Seco Weekend

The Crowd


This might be the thing I enjoyed most about the Arroyo Seco Weekend festival.  The crowd was so chill.  There were young people, not-so young people, and all ages in between and all of them just seemed to be enjoying a nice, relaxing day of good music, food, and drinks.

I mean, this guy brought a yo-yo to play with during breaks on the Oak Stage.

There were also plenty of families with kids. This seems like the best kind of festival to bring your kid to their first festival as it has plenty of space, lots of activities for the young people, and, unlike a lot of the other fests, doesn’t have that whole “ragin’ party” thing going on with festival goers.


I was really impressed with this year’s Arroyo Seco Weekend.  Did you go? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments – and be sure to check out our gallery of photos taken at the event