U.R. Art Music Festival Series is hosting its second summer music performances on Sunday, July 20 at the Bergamot Station Art Center.

Three DJ friends – Rob Garza, member of “Thievery Corporation”, Philip Jung of the electronic group “M.A.N.D.Y.” and John Wander of “Roam Music” – created the event to showcase music groups, food, fashion and art while promoting sustainability, said Wander.

According to Wander, Downtown LA hosts many music events, so he and his colleagues created the U.R. Art to build a platform and bring music to the Westside.

While searching for a venue, the three partners decided Bergamot was the perfect place to have a daytime summer event. Wander had taken part in events at Bergamot before and said the art galleries make the spot ideal for their event.

“Everyone can come and participate in the artistic contribution of it,” Wander said. “The space works so well because it is basically is an entire facility filled with various art. It has a very funky feel to it.”

The event is primarily a music festival, but also includes interactive components, said Wander. Adults and kids are invited to paint on canvases, which are later hung on the gallery walls. Art created at U.R. Art’s first festival on June 8 will be featured at Sunday’s event. The first festival reached full capacity and was a success, said Wander.

Over eight different community based vendors from LA actively contribute to the event, and over 12 fashion designers will be presenting pop-up stores with music festival fashion. Food appearances include the Grilled Cheese Truck and the solar powered Green Truck, serving organic food packaged in all recyclable or compostable materials. Well-known Venice artists will be live-painting during the event while international and local musicians including Wander will perform.

Sustainability is a key element of the festival; therefore all electricity and sound systems are solar powered, said Wander. All food materials are also biodegradable and customers are encouraged to purchase reusable water bottles, as plastic ones are not provided at the event. Sustainability and volunteer operator Cassandra Montoya said that for U.R. Art, sustainability is not just targeting the environment- it is about involving the entire community in a common goal.

“True sustainability encompasses both social and ecological dimensions; we cannot achieve one without the other,” Montoya said. “Our new positive impact certification combines these dimensions at the heart of where community thrives – in social events.”

The events aim to create zero waste, so food and beverages are provided on recyclable plates and cups. To tie in the children and social aspect of the event, a portion of sales is donated to CoachArt, a non-profit aimed to support children with chronic illnesses by providing them with free art and athletic lessons.

For festivals to come, Wander said U.R. Art is hoping to introduce more food trucks and sponsor additional non-profits. He also wants to expand the size of the event and introduce more interactive activities that include different types of art.

The U.R. Art team is looking forward to hosting family oriented festivals where adults and their kids can enjoy quality music and food while being conscious of the Santa Monica environment.

“The community is excited about having a fresh daytime option to go dance and celebrate, where quality and style is maintained while also supporting culture, arts and sustainability,” Montoya said.

By Francesca Billington

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