Broke LA is Rich in The Arts: Great Bands, Innovations – On a Budget or Not

Tennis System

Featured image of Tennis System, photos and story By MARIEL CALLOWAY

DOWNTOWN LA — Broke LA 2016 was an all-around 9-hour binge of music and mayhem for those too busy (or too broke) to attend Coachella.  But this was a misnomer because even if you had a few bucks in your pocket, we would have picked this as a top entertainment value.  The musicians, the art, and the entire event is growing every year and we look forward to next year.

With over 50 artists spread across four stages, we review some of the memorable acts:

Broke-LA-California-Rocker-Mariel-Calloway-314CAM AND CHINA (RAP)

As promised, twin duo Cam and China rocked the house with a vicious all out rap battle blast.

After a non step set of fierce beats and fast rhymes, the Inglewood natives closed out with their hit single, “NADA,” a merciless ballad disparaging the attractions of useless men with nothing to offer.


One of the most poignant and thoughtful art collections was the “Office of Missed Connections” display. The display invited users to tell stories of heartbreak and missed opportunities in the hopes of reuniting those missed with those who missed them. The most heartbreaking of all postings was a letter signed by a musician, seeking connection with his recently departed idol, Prince.

Broke-LA-California-Rocker-Mariel-Calloway-305DWNTWN (ROCK)

Dwntwn welcomed the oncoming darkness with hazy pulsing dream pop under a the swirl of a purple tinted sky. Their silky smooth blend of light beats and soft rhythms brought the blaring heat of day to a cool chill.  Their self-titled EP is now available. Members include singer Jamie Leffler, guitarist Robert Cepeda, Chris Sanchez on bass and keyboard, and Dan Vanchieri on drums.


Local boys King Shelter cranked up the heat and brought the mellow swirl of day pumping into a high energy rock swoon by late afternoon. Lead singer Taylor Hecocks riled up the crowd with a heady, grinding mix of heavy rock sprinkled with a dash of punk. The self-proclaimed “Salad Rock” musicians are playing a series of shows in the Los Angeles area throughout the rest of the month. Members: Taylor Hecocks – Vocals/Guitar; David Noble – Guitar; Adam Nienow – Drums; John Harzan – Bass

Broke-LA-California-Rocker-Mariel-Calloway-222KOSHA DILLZ (RAP)

Rapper Kosha Dillz pumped the first shots of adrenaline into an already amped and ready crowd as day turned to night over the Brownies & Lemonade rap stage. After a series of dizzy rap beats, Kosha Dillz ended his set with a free flowing freestyle rap battle on stage. Proudly Jewish, Kosha Dillz is also known for his unofficial “Matzachella” and Shabbat Tent at this year’s Coachella.


For anyone needing a break from the sights and sounds of BROKE LA, the animal friendly event “Bark LA” (sponsored by No Kill Los Angeles) welcomed visitors to play and cuddle with an array of homeless puppies and kittens. There were games, treats, and plenty of kisses as these furry friends sought new homes with loving humans.