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Speaking honestly, Alexander Wang's first big collection was not super awesome. The Simpsons was not initially a hit. And 16-year-old Christian Bale in Newsies was something of a joke. But all of these things had promise and were given enough time to flourish. We're hoping the same thing happens with the Gourmet Music Carnival, from the same people responsible for the Dodger Stadium flea market, which never got a chance to hit its stride before they pulled the plug on it. The GMC took over LA State Historic Park last weekend. The event endeavored to combine three very popular phenomena -- food trucks, flea market shopping, and music -- into one crowd-pleasing enchilada. And overall, we think they did a pretty good job.
As far as the food trucks go, there was an interesting sampling of food, but none of the titan trucks -- no Kogi, Grilled Cheese Truck, Ludobites, or whatever the hell the popular trucks are these days. (And seriously, we don't know.) But it didn't look like anyone went away hungry. If it hadn't been for The Gap's taco truck, we might have. We hate to sound like we're shilling for them, but wow, they were the best buy of the Carnival. While everyone else was charging upwards of $3 or $4 a taco, The Gap sold us two tacos and a 20-oz bottle of water for $1.69. Oh and plus, there was a $20 coupon for 1969 denim. Score.
The market portion of the event was some of the most random merchandise ever. At one end of the spectrum, both ideologically and geographically, were Jewelmint and Echo Park remade-vintage fave Taxi CDC. But there were also booths for DirecTV and wireless phone service, and folk-art style paintings of angels. There were maybe 50 vendors on hand. We didn't buy anything, but there were a few pretty trinkets that tempted us.
We don't have much comment about the music portion of the party, since we were only there for one and a half bands. The music lends a festive, rollicking air, and we think it serves the event well.
As did the booze tent, with a line that snaked around and around the tent. Expand for next time, please?
All in all, it was a super-fun afternoon. Excellent people-watching. If you're a food truck aficionado, like we aren't, you'll probably have a lot of fun. The one we can speak to, authoritatively, is the vendor and merchandise mix. If the festival beefed up its selection, it would greatly improve the shopping. But hey, we get it, for the maiden voyage, many sellers probably didn't want to take a chance. But it's such a great concept. We hope there is a next time, and we hope a bigger selection of both retailers and trucks make it out for the party.
· Gourmet Music Carnival/TruckIt Fest [Official Site]