SOT405: An insiders guide


Getty Center view from Robert Irwin’s garden.

Did you know there are concerts at the Getty Center in Brentwood all year round? From lost compositions from the Italian Renaissance performed in front of audiences for the first time in centuries to Kim Gordon’s new project Body/Head, there is actually more going on at the Getty than you think there is.

This post will focus on the popular Saturdays Off the 405 that just started its 2015 season last month with the Cathedrals. This once monthly concert series turns the museum’s courtyard space into a concert venue with a little help from Spaceland Presents, who I have mentioned before in the First Fridays post. The bands that play SOT405 are variations of what you can hear on KCRW, newcomers to the music scene, and random established acts like the Tom Tom Club and Cut Chemist.

On nights like this, the Getty can get pretty crowded with museum visitors and concert goers. This is how I suggest you do this event.


One of the biggest complaints I hear about the Getty in general is that there isn’t anything to eat after 5:PM. It is true. Both the Getty Cafe and Garden Terrace close around 3:PM and the last remaining option is open only until 5:PM. If you miss out on that last hope, you aren’t really missing much. The food at the Getty is pretty darn expensive, like $7.00 for a hot dog and $2.50 for a can of soda pop expensive. I suggest packing a picnic instead. There are plenty of places to sprawl out like the sculpture garden up the stairs between the East and South Pavilions and the hills sloping down to the garden. (I know you want to roll down that hill like a kid.) You can check your blanket and picnic basket at coat check so you don’t have to carry it around.

Get there early:

If you are one of those people who like to dance at concerts, I suggest getting there early. The layout of the venue is a little strange and dancing space is at a premium. I also suggest getting there early because the Getty is first and foremost a museum which I recommend seeing, come on you are there anyway just kill two birds with one stone.

Avoid the tram:

I suggest walking up instead. It is a beautiful hike up and you might just spot one of the deer that roam the property.  Line + 9 minute tram ride = too long.

Take a minute:

The sunsets up at the Getty are really spectacular. When the travertine just starts to turn pinkish look west and just watch it happen.

Bands I have seen: Bomba Estéreo, Best Coast

My pick for the season: Shannon and the Clams. (Two bands are yet to be determined)

Cost: FREE. Parking $15 or $10 after 5:PM

Kids: Yes

Alcohol: Cash bar

Season starts: May

Season ends: September

[Getting there: Metro Bus 734.]

So you want to hear about those other concerts, the ones I mentioned in the first paragraph? The Getty just put out an app called Getty 360 that lists all of the exhibitions, events, talks, films, cooking classes,etc. of the entire Getty Center Campus and the Villa. You can download it anyplace you normally download apps.

2 responses to “SOT405: An insiders guide

  1. Pingback: But How Do I Choose??: Part II | This Ugly Beautiful City·

  2. Pingback: Finding the Ugly Beautiful in Your City | This Ugly Beautiful City·

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