Mercado Sagrado 2019 Recap

Tucked deep in Malibu lies an annual oasis, a two-day celebration marking the human dedication to understanding our Planet Earth and all her natural gifts. Mercado Sagrado – a Sacred Market – creates a sanctuary where artisans can come together to share their craft, building a community that extends beyond commerce and into a world of shared global knowledge and ethical living. Jam-packed with spiritual and physical workshops, organic food trucks, and an ethereal musical lineup curated by Babe Rainbow, Mercado Sagrado is clearly designed to alleviate your overwhelmed senses and heal your body, mind, and soul – a total retreat from modern life, just half an hour from the city.

Tavin Boutique – Mobile Debut

Echo Park locals Tavin and husband Nathan are familiar with what it means to support the homegrown scene. For ten years this powerduo has run Tavin Boutique in the heart of Echo Park, its focus being the collecting and repurposing of vintage clothing and international, hand-crafted goods. By bringing timeless snapshots of the world into one place, Tavin shares with us an atmosphere unlike any other vintage store.

Mercado Sagrado marks an important milestone in their business as they debuted their mobile store, a vintage bus which the two spent the better part of two years modifying themselves. The modified bus features a gorgeous wooden interior with built-in shelves, and walls that prop up like an awning to allow for a unique, open interior space with room for plenty of breeze. An ingenious invention that transports us through time. To seal the deal, Tavin’s husband Nathan treated us to some honkey tonk tunes out of a little piano, truly sweeping us away into an authentic old California realm.

(Visit the store at 1543 Echo Park Ave or head over to their website)

Quetzalcoatl – Fine Native American Flutes and Drums

Drawn to a polyphonic sound seeming to come of the earth itself, a group gathered at Master Craftsman Guillermo Martinez’ booth where he demonstrated a traditional tune on a handmade Native American flute. With over 40 years of experience, including a 10-year apprenticeship with his previous Keeper of Knowledge, Guillermo has an extensive performance repertoire and can make over 200 types of traditional instruments out of exotic woods and elk or moose hide. By adapting conventional methods passed down through other Master Craftsmen, Guillermo is able to meet modern needs while reintroducing and revitalizing the indigenous music (and their coinciding rituals) of Native America.

Guillermo inspires younger generations through various workshops and mixed educational showcases, allowing a first hand look at important cultural aspects and traditions that have begun to fade in a post-colonial world. His dedication to spreading his ancient knowledge extends beyond the Americas; every year he visits Japan to teach a 2-week seminar on Native American drum-making and ritual, connecting two cultures across the globe who may have more in common than what we know today. His global sense of duty to extend tradition, paired with his warm personality, draws people of all ages and backgrounds to his magical booth.

(Guillermo’s Handmade Native American Flutes and Drums, as well as recorded music, are available online here)

Music Review: Farmer Dave

What festival is complete without a killer lineup of psychedelic and worldly sonic goodies. Curated by Australia’s Babe Rainbow, this year’s lineup featured a variety of sounds ranging from Reverberation DJs to Mapache to Jagwar Ma to Cloud Fontaine. As the sun was setting behind the sycamore trees, I caught some of Topanga local legend Farmer Dave’s most ethereal set yet, featuring an almost entirely new band dishing out entirely new vibes. Music like liquid sunlight. I floated over to the stage totally mesmerized by the calm yet whimsical energy of his performance, like a sage entertainer with a knowing smile. Audience members (including Alan the Bearded Dragon) could choose between blissing out on lush grass or blissing out on plush rugs. An autumn breeze brought in the golden light that seemed to blow away the worry from everyone’s faces. After his set, all Farmer Dave had to comment was that the magical vibes were already there: through all the magical people. All he had to do was amplify it.

A gorgeous setting to feel the healing and awesome powers of nature, a sanctuary to meet and connect with other free-thinking, eco-friendly and ethical human beings who transform what it means to live in a relentless – often ignorant – consumerist society. Workshops on how to introduce breath work into our daily routine; classes on ancient plant medicine and how to forage for your own; food trucks with an emphasis in organic benefits; organizations like The Compton Cowboys who strive to create sustainable alternatives to gang life in LA’s youth. It’s a wholesome, nourishing event in every sense (literally), highlighting the dedication of a community to creating a healthier planet, starting with the miniature version inside all of us.

Written and Photographed By: Marina Aguerre

Marina is a live music photographer, promoter, and host of KXLU’s The Witching Hours –  Thursday Nights from Ten to Midnight

Special Thanks to Shelley Wright and Mady Preece for the lovely help.