A Topanga Days POV at 25

Miles Erickson
By Miles Erickson

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A Topanga Days POV at 25
Illustration By Miles Erickson
As I trudged up the hill to the Topanga Days Fair, already shimmering under sweat, I heard some Van Morrison covers in the distance, which is par for the course and to be expected. As I picked up my press wristband at the front entrance, the woman at the ticket booth asked me to “please be kind.” This may have been a reference to my previous article about Topanga Days, I’m not sure. By the time I staggered down to the baseball field, the current set was in full swing. Dive bar blues-ey rock and dads playing funky bass licks. A couple of songs ventured dangerously close to family-friendly rebel country. It’s the kind of music that pairs well with sipping natty light and contemplating your divorce proceedings. Pretty sure that was Dan Ubik on guitar, who always stands out as being exceptionally masterful. Their last song must have been especially good because at one point I saw a shirtless man take off his backpack, drop to the floor and do seven pushups. Lots of parents in the audience, suffering through heat exhaustion so they can dance while the carnival games babysat their children for a few hours. I’m in my mid-twenties now, and the days of hiking backgrounds, eating an edible and hopping the fence, all to avoid paying the $15 entrance fee, seems like a long time ago. The people who accompanied me on such Topanga Days adventures are now strangers whom I haven’t spoken to in ten years. I found myself spending time enjoying the music and perusing the wears, as opposed to trying to knock over aluminum milk jugs with a baseball. Noticing the youngsters running around the dance floor only served to make me acutely aware of how tight my pants waistline has become. Speaking of wears, I noticed some of those Baja poncho hoodies on sale, which in and of itself isn’t that weird, but I always felt like the target audience for those would maybe want a fabric that doesn’t retain the smell of weed for 30 years. Exactly 30 seconds after exiting the gate, I was approached by a woman asking to buy my wrist band. A note to any aspiring scalpers, forget Dodger games, Topanga Days is where the money is to be made. “You can have it for free,” I said to her “but it’s a press pass, and you’ll have to pry it off of me.” So she took my wrist and began desperately trying to pull it off. Finally, as she gave up, letting out an exasperated sigh of defeat, I tugged on it, channeling the strength of that one guy I saw doing push-ups earlier. It popped off and I gave it to her, coaching her on how to pretend like a music critic. During the Robin Moxy set, one of the singers mentioned something about properly honoring the music. Helping someone get in for free so they could theoretically enjoy music felt pretty in line with that.

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Topanga Days 2022


JUNE 10, 2022

Topanga Days 2022