Longtime summer highlight Tour des Artistes clears the cars off several Long Beach streets this weekend for the 200-pound gorilla of the local arts-festival scene, commandeering an entire neighborhood for a daylong exhibition of visual art, live art, live music, recorded music selected by live humans, film and more. Besides a formidable list of participating galleries—which outnumber only the list of coffee shops in the East Village—the tour is becoming something of a showcase for local music.
Last year's main-stager, Matt Costa, played the street for free here and graduated to arena tours just a few weeks later. This year, the tour has Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens and his versatile Free Moral Agents alongside excellent local dub/roots reggae band Jah Fellowship (currently working with version-auteur Scientist) and hip-hop from Long Beach's Loaded On Arrival, plus DJ sets by Dennis (soul/funk club Good Foot and roller-disco kingpin, too), Sonic Dread (reggae club Crucial selector), Mighty Junebugg (Skratch Club), and then a whole stage or two more—Tour des Artistes' website has the full run of appearing musicians and DJs.
And also at tour this year: a juried art show (with a panel tapping the Getty and the Hammer, as well as local academics) to top a long list of local gallery shows and a screening of video artist Bill Viola's eerie Anthem (which features a slowed-to-sludge human scream as its soundtrack) in tandem with a small film festival. Plus, every gallery is full of art bait—cheese, wine, glass bowl for business cards—and every open street is full of tchotchkes. They can't call it an artwalk—it's more like a marathon.
Tour des Artistes in Long Beach's East Village, Broadway and First between Elm and Atlantic, Long Beach, (562) 268-EVAD; www.tourdesartistes.com. Sat., noon-10 p.m. $10; children under 12, free.
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