By Kenneth Miller, Publisher
On a picturesque overcast Saturday in June when the gray clouds could not shield the warm sunshine from busting through amid an empty SoFi Stadium in the background, District 4 Councilwoman Dionne Faulk introduced her inaugural Music Festival to Inglewood residents at Darby Park on June 24.
An excited Faulk, the first Black female on the City Council, stood on stage at the west lawn area of Darby staring out at a grass filled with people in their lawn chairs, picnic baskets in tow, wearing wide brimmed hats, sunglasses, shorts and dresses.
This was an event that nearly didn’t happen. There were preliminary plans to host it at SoFi Stadium and the concept was almost scrapped entirely, but Faulk’s due diligence pushed the vision through.
“I wanted to see if Darby Park would work, check it out and maybe we could still do the show. I came here with my husband Shannon Faulk; we looked around and I said Inglewood is going to be at Darby Park today. And we are here y’all,” she exclaimed.
Flanked by her council colleagues Eloy Morales (District 3), Alex Padilla (District 2) and Mayor James T. Butts, Jr., Faulk basked in the sunshine of bringing something to Inglewood that other pocket cities have enjoyed for years, a music festival.
However, this wasn’t just an occasion to have a good time because it was also intended to help the plagued Inglewood Unified School District.
“Hey you guys, so let me tell you something. The first $100 check is coming from me to the Inglewood Unified School District for our children. So, whatever you can, let’s give it to them to help the school district. Second, I want you guys to give a rounding ovation to Dionne Faulk for putting this together for us, for Inglewood,” the mayor boasted.
Inglewood is the fastest growing city in America and while certifying itself as the sports capitol with two NFL teams and an NBA team on the way, one of the leading concert venues in the nation with the Kia Forum, the Music Festival arrival with a line that featured host Tommy Davidson and a line-up consisting of; Pete Escovedo & Family; Keiko Matsui; Loose Ends Featuring Jane Eugene; Sugar Hill Gang Featuring Scorpio & Melle Mel; Frankie J; Sista Nancy
Tia P and CME Community Choir.
“Now, you guys know that Inglewood has changed when Keiko Matsui comes to entertain in the City of Inglewood. We have changed over the last 10 years, we are special,” mayor Butts stated putting and exclamation mark on it.
Councilmember Morales praised Faulk for not letting the event die.
“I can tell you that this event happened because Dionne did not let it die. We all did our part, but I’ll tell you the mayor says we’re special and we are as a city, but we are special because you’re special. Sometimes you have to listen to the new person on the council who says we need a jazz concert like they have in other cities for our residents so people can just hang out. Then it became something with a purpose. Our school system needs us,” added Morales.
State Senator Steve Bradford, who host one of the most successful music events was also on hand and joined by Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen Miles, who will be hosting a blues festival in his city in September.
Thanks to Councilwoman Faulk, Inglewood residents have a music event to call their own and something good to look forward to.