This past weekend a live music festival called The Ranch Party rocked the Santa Monica Mountains near Topanga Canyon. Aiming to bring out the vibe of the city’s music culture, the festival featured L.A. bands, artists, DJs, drinks and food. 

The Ranch Party benefited a children’s camping program called Ranch Kids, which gives local kids the opportunity to learn first-hand about agriculture, farming and raising animals. Along with a portion of the proceeds, a fee was added to each ticket to ensure that Ranch Kids had their most successful year to date, according to a prepared statement. 

Several attendees (as well as this correspondent) noted that the 45-minute trip to the mountains was nearly doubled by the closed lanes very bizarre parking situation. However, the way up and down the hills to The Ranch was very lovely and fun. It evoked memories of school bus trips to the wilderness with thrilling sights of being perilously close to the edge of the road overlooking the city. 

The event itself was spread out amongst the grounds with a live band area and a DJ floor a small hike away with camping grounds available for attendees who chose to stay overnight. With the talk of the bus situation not going as planned for the 2 a.m. last shuttle, the event was too much effort to really enjoy for those not staying overnight. 

Campus Circle was able to catch the set by band Mansions on the Moon, which really brought out the indie and free-spirited feel the event was trying to capture (albeit with some sound tech difficulties). Attendees seemed to have an all right time; many mustached men smoked tobacco from fancy pipes, women with furry hats roasted marshmallows on the main fire pit and the rest in their glow stick best danced the night away on the dance floor. 

It would have been great to be assured the transportation situation was more reliable without worrying that you’d be stuck on the mountain if the last bus couldn’t accommodate you. The Ranch Party would have been definitely more enjoyable without some of the stresses of lack of organization.

Overall, if you plan on hitting this event up next year, plan on camping.