Culture Collide Festival makes its first big splash in LA

You have to hand it to a show that sets up a music stage in a church and fills it up better than Pat Robertson coming to town. Filter's first annual Culture Collide Festival, held in Echo Park last Thursday through Sunday, was the magazine's rendition of the massive music festivals you'll find out in Coachella Valley or Glastonbury. The difference? Not Paying $280 but $23 for the four-day festival.

It's the perfect answer for an indie fan living on a budget, and especially for catching a first glimpse at up-and-coming bands that will be making headlines in the near future. Acts included the showman inspired performance of British band White Lies, who played songs never heard before off of their anticipated upcoming album, the postmodern punk sounds of the Black Lips and the band being hailed as the heir to the Arcade Fire's throne, Nieve Nielsen & the Deer Children who also took the stage.

The energy of each of the shows was nothing short of dynamic, as each band took stage and gave performances that made many fans satisfied. Due to the size of the audience, the event allowed for an overall tame experience that gave the vibe of finding a secret show with your favorite bands, rather than the cramped sweaty atmosphere of a major concert.

While it may not have been the size of Austin's famed South by Southwest, it definitely had the same style and approach as the four-day festival, which combined film, art and music in the name of a good cause.

"The best part is that all the proceedings from this festival are actually going to non-profit charities," said Monique Villa, nationwide representative for Filter Magazine. Villa described her interactions with the bands with pleasure, stating that each band played the show for the right reasons in support of the charities. "The bands that came out are also giving back to the non- profits by attracting people to the festival," she said.

Some of the charities included the Pablove Foundation, which helps fight against childhood cancer, and A26LA, an organization raising money to benefit children in inner city schools. Overall, Villa deemed the event a huge success for Filter alongside KCRW, who also helped to organize the event.

But while the bands took center stage to provide a lot of the entertainment, there was still a lot to be found throughout the festival. Free beer, ales and promotional giveaways including USB samplers were handed out alongside the fleet of food trucks available to offer delicious snacks to soak up any kind of hangover, bringing the spirit of Oktoberfest to our humble abode (if you were over 21).

Despite the age limit for most of the festival, Sunday held the free, all ages block party to close out the event. With two stages and an unheard of church stage available, Filter put on an epic finale to their festival that saw the likes of Tokyo Police Club, The Boxer Rebellion and Phantogram.

While there may not have been the star power or massive scale of the major music festivals, Culture Collide was able to take music lovers back to the simplicities and fundamentals necessary to have a good time: good music and good memories.

The fact that so many talented artists were still able to come out and perform throughout the city serves as a testament that no matter how much anyone has in their wallet, they can still find a good time. Take it from someone who saw Tokyo Police Club at both Coachella and Culture Collide; they played the same songs and it was just as cool of a show in the city as it was in the desert.