We Will Rock You!

2019 Editions Lani Tunzi May

by Lani Tunzi

We’re always told growing up that we can do anything we set our minds to, no matter how outrageous it may seem. Well, two Eagle Rock teens with a passion for live music and the persistence to match took the advice to heart and, last month, pulled off a punk rock show with three bands and a hundred fans – on Loleta Avenue in Eagle Rock.

Big Hug entrepreneurs, Lauren Arriola (right) and Lucca Pastore, (middle) pictured here with friend, Chloe Kraft, whose parents provided the musical venue.

The event, put on by Eagle Rock High School students, Lucca Pastore, 18, and Lauren Arriola, 16, took four weeks of planning and the gracious parents of a friend willing to let them use their backyard as a location.
“Lucca and I both had such an interest in not only the music, but the production aspect of putting a show together,” said Lauren. So, for starters, Lucca and Lauren founded an event-planning company, “Big Hug,” and got busy planning and executing their first event. “We really had no idea what we were doing but it all worked out,” confessed Lauren, “We publicized this event promoting a good time with music, fun, and memories — and that’s what we got.”

The music lineup included Whaja Dew, Those Whose Heads Explode and Thankyou Congratulations. One other band cancelled at the last minute, but that didn’t phase Lucca and Lauren, who transformed the backyard into an outdoor music venue, adorned with lighting, seats, tables and recorded music playing between the live sets. The backyard venue also had an area designated for vendors – local teens selling food, clothes and homemade jewelry.

The show was open to all ages and cost $5 to enter. Music amplified from the Eagle Rock backyard and into the neighborhood beginning at 6 p.m. Though punk music may not be the ideal soundtrack for a Sunday night, the neighbors had all been notified beforehand — and some stopped by to check it out for themselves. The show rocked on until 9:30 p.m.

Not only were Lucca and Lauren executing something they were both passionate about, they saw how something great could be created just by starting with an idea and working together.

So, watch for more shows from Big Hug. “We established a connection with our community and invited others to join us and the results were amazing,” said Lauren.

Lani Tunzi is in the 11th grade at Eagle Rock High School.

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