The Melrose Trading Post has become one of the greatest success stories of the LA Unified School District raising over $7 million for Fairfax High organizations since 1997, growing to attract 5-8K thousand visitors every Sunday. Even if you are unfamiliar with the Melrose area, you have probably witnessed the bustling bazaar it all its glory while driving past the iconic Fairfax High on any given Sunday.
What you probably haven’t heard about is the Trading Post’s concert series. It is easy to miss the live music stage among the vast selection of vendors and top-notch people watching complete with star-studded appearances by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Kendall Jenner, Lana Del Rey, Matt Bellamy of Muse, band members from the Chainsmokers, Tyler the Creator, Willow & Jaden Smith and Kehlani.
Upon entering the food court, you will be greeted by the Greenway Arts Main Stage resting underneath a shady tree, inviting those with tired legs and a plate of food to chill and check out the local talent. FYI, the food court is filled with intoxicating fragrances from delicious foods like crepes, tacos, acai bowls, infused teas or just about anything you would want.
In most situations, local talent refers to sub-par cover bands or something like a throat-wrenching rendition of Wild Horses by a tortured artist; however this is L.A. and Fairfax High is literally where musicians like Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the legendary Herb Alpert once attended.
The man who books the Trading Post’s two stages is Martin Diller. Martin is the drummer for groups you may have heard of like Post Modern Jukebox, Amber Coffman (formerly of Dirty Projectors), and Malaysian singer Yuna. He brings undeniable talent you would normally see at hot nightspots like Perch, Seven Grand, Sassafras, Harvard & Stone etc. The music ranges from groups like Pretty Polly’s soulful folk duo to Emily Elbert’s Americana, and Sydney Ranee’s sultry RnB. Not to forget some of the most talented jazz and funk bands in the city like the Rumproller Organ Trio, Vignes Rooftop Revival, and Katalyst.
As a saxophone player, I have performed on the Trading Post’s Main Stage with my funk band, The Vibrometers. I felt like these performances were what Sunday was about; grabbing a morning coffee from a vendor, playing music with my friends for an ageless crowd, and becoming a part of an authentic community of diverse vendors and visitors.
I felt good about buying an old record, jewelry or a food item from a vendor, knowing that my personal gain was also a contribution to a truly wonderful tradition and practice of community enterprise. The Trading Post lures us out of our routines and busyness to make strangers into a neighborhood and Sunday feel like the weekend.
This is a unique opportunity to check out the “Real L.A.” music scene. Here, you will witness musicians who rely on their ability to perform and record to make a living. On this stage you will not find the ghosts of Sunset Blvd’s past or the dude at the bar that bragged to you about his latest record deal. You will find real talented entertainers while they are home from tour performing with their own groups.
The Greenway Arts Main Stage is one of the few daytime opportunities you will have to check out young professional musicians outside of their regular nightlife gigs. So, bring your kids if you want, knowing you will get to bed on time, grab a delicious infused hibiscus tea and check out some of the best music L.A. has to offer while you get your Sunday shopping game on.
MELROSE TRADING POST
at Fairfax High School
7850 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Music from 10:30am-4pm every Sunday