It's TARFEST, the Free Mid-City Music + Art Bash

Join the all-ages, afternoon-long lark at the La Brea Tar Pits.

What to Know

  • Saturday, Sept. 22, 1:30-7 p.m.
  • La Brea Tar Pits
  • Free

Plenty of music festivals rock plenty of cool features, but coming across a super-cool scene with the following attributes is a rare occurrence.

A) It's free. Totally. No strings.

B) All ages are welcome.

C) The setting is world-famous, in the straight-from-science category, with a sub-category of ancient mammoths and dire wolves, and a sub-sub category involving a goopy substance that bubbles, constantly, due to methane pockets.

D) There's an awesome art element at the festival, including art-making that happens live, before attendees' admiring eyes.

If you can guess we're about to throw down the word "tar" here — the whole "mammoths" part tipped our hand, surely — you're correct: The well-loved TARFEST returns to the La Brea Tar Pits on Saturday, Sept. 22 for a big, big, huge afternoon of music-makery, art-watchery, and tar-bubbling.

Well, that ol' tar is going to bubble-bubble-bubble without any help from us, but count on the human element of the day to be highly entertaining. Freedom Fry, Wild, Caught a Ghost, Smoke Season, and Jane Holiday will all play live sets, while, over in the live-painting area, Holly Tempo and Brett Crawford will be at the brushes.

Shall there be workshops focusing on dance?

You got it. And can your tots find tot-fun stuff to do? That's part of the "all ages" asterisk, so, for sure, bring the fam.

It's one of the summer-meets-fall-iest day-long to-dos around town, and certainly one of the freest.

That it boasts an aura of fossil finds, of museum majesty, thanks to LACMA next door and the other institutions of the Miracle Mile, and the beauty of the Mid-City Hancock Park are further feathers in the TARFEST cap.

The hours? So afternoon-y: Be there from 1 to 7:30 p.m., soaking up the very last of the summer sunshine. 

The arts-minded LaunchLA is behind this annual free treat.

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