For someone who’s familiar with Brutal Band Entertainment’s stamp on their events, the inaugural Mob Fest last Saturday played to their M.O. quite well.
Hosted by Dogfellaz, a local craft wiener spot with a popup shop on Ocean Avenue next to the courthouse, some 400 people walked around the street festival (in northwest Long Beach, where Dogfellaz’s commissary is) with their free hotdog.
The two stages — the Hotdog Stage and Sausage Stage — hosted 22 bands and acts from across the musical spectrum, including The Cosmonauts, GRN+GLD and Band Aparte as well as local favorites like Forest of Tongue, Jack Pharoah and Gulag a Go-Go. Live painters set up next to the stages. Face painters, balloon artists and magicians kept the kids entertained, and a 25-foot rock-climbing wall stood by alluringly.
West Fuller is the 24-year-old brain and promoter behind the prolific Long Beach event, which he officially branded about three years ago. And, about six months ago, 34-year-old Daniel Trigueros, a longtime Long Beach resident, jumped onboard. In two months, the two pulled off the Mob Festival, Brutal band Entertainment’s (BBE’s) biggest event thus far and first of many festivals.
“I’ve never met another guy that’s as creative as me when it comes to live events,” Fuller says of Trigueros, who becomes DJ Sea Moan at many of their shows. “That’s the reason we caught on so well.”
Together, the two organize and promote shows for BBE, which focuses on a vast number of hardcore sub genres as well as Dive or Die, an extension that promotes a limitless range of musicians from folk to electronic to punk.
Fuller, who was born and raised in the same cozy Long Beach home he lives in today, was drawn to niche music at a young age. At 16, he was running several music-themed Myspace blogs that drew listeners from Russia. He promoted bands in hardcore sub genres like Nintendo Core as well as electronic and indie.
“I was so focused on finding music, I didn’t even care about having any friends,” he says, laughing.
As a singer, he fronted some local hardcore bands, learning the ropes on promoting and booking shows. Outside of that, he frequented underground shows in L.A. and all-ages shows at House of Blues and Chain Reaction in Orange County.
“You really don’t experience Long Beach until you turn 21,” Fuller says. “There’s so many bars in Long Beach that produce entertainment and yet people under 21 can’t.”
Shortly after turning 21 himself, Fuller got a green light from Wade, a bartender and promoter at The Prospector, to put on a show featuring a friend’s band called Hitler Made Meth.
“It was a grindcore show and they hadn’t had a show like that in centuries, so it was bizarre for older people to meet up at The Prospector and see this music,” he recounts, “but it actually went well. There was a good turnout.”
From that point, Fuller had a monthly residency at the bar. Then one show became two and two became three, and soon he was booking shows at other local venues, particularly at Blacklight District. At his peak he was booking eight shows a month there, each night featuring six to eight different bands.
“It just seemed insane,” he recalls, laughing.
Fuller was juggling his time corresponding with some 50 to 80 new bands every month. He had the help of some interns at one point but they didn’t work out due to distance. It was an extremely strenuous time, but he says he found value in linking up local bands in hardcore sub genre scenes, such as math rock. It created a hub for math rock bands from other cities and a chain of supporting venues throughout L.A. and Orange County.
“It was a really good chain of events that these math rock bands stuck close together,” he says. “That was the point of me booking these shows. I wanted to try my best to cram my work in and get these bands together and try to get these music scenes to talk to each other.”
Fuller and Trigueros have new event ideas to continue the success of Mob Fest. They are thinking on the level of Make Music Pasadena, which Fuller says is a big inspiration, or even FYFest — but on the beach. Eventually Fuller says he wants to open a bustling all-ages venue here.
“There’s quite a few ideas,” he says.
Brutal Band Entertainment’s next event: The Prospector, 2400 E. Seventh St., on July 28.