On Sunday Sept. 18, Los Angeles saw its first Harvest Cup. This event was presented by 420Acres and was hosted by GoGo model Darling Darla. So many people bought tickets for the event that it was moved last minute to a large venue near Chinatown. The event had pre-sale tickets as well as some passes available at the door. The range of ticket prices was good; general entry was only $20, and there were judging and VIP tickets available as well. Upon entry, you could see two warehouses open; one appeared to only be for art demonstrations and display, and the other was the main area for the Harvest Cup activities. Vendors set up around the outside of the warehouse as well.
Harvest Cup was advertised as a marijuana convention that would be entertaining and educational, with special advocate speakers, musicians, street artists, the 420 Nurses, a bikini contest, and vendors and medication area. A majority of the vendors were selling headshop goods like glass pipes, shirts with funny sayings on them, rolling papers, and things like that. There were also the standard marijuana con sponsors like Chronic Candy, 420 Times, Culture Magazine, etc. There were a couple shining vending spots, such as Speed Weed’s Herbal Eats booth, deodorizing carrying bags, and some dispensaries.
There were musical groups that performed inside the main warehouse area including Swisher Streets, Bloodshot Bandits, Los Marijuanos and MC Jeffery Peterson. Also slated to be on stage in the main area were activists Allison Margolin, Don Duncan, Craig X, and Craig Beresh. While the groups seemed to perform well, the volume was so loud it was difficult to talk to anyone else in the main warehouse. Perhaps this wouldn’t have been an issue in a different location, but hosting booths inside where there is such loud music makes it impossible to hold conversations and learn more about the vendors and sponsors.
A dispensary had a booth almost in the middle of the room. They must have paid a great deal to be one of only a few co-ops or dispensaries at Harvest Cup, and they were eager to try and get guests to partake of their free goodies (lighters and papers) and take a complimentary shuttle to their downtown shop. They said a van would take guests to and from the dispensary every 15 minutes (the dispensary is 20 minutes away). The idea was good in theory, but in practice led to some issues, including groups being stranded outside the dispensary for over an hour with no way back to the event!
There was a bikini contest moderated by Nikita Esco, Jeri Lee and Layla Lu. While I was there for most of the day, I only noticed a handful of girls who appeared later at the contest, leading me to believe they only showed up to participate in the bikini contest.
There were plenty of scantily-clad girls walking around the grounds all day however.
One thing that confused me was that Harvest Cup said there would be samples (including a special judging area and samples for those paying for VIP or judging badges). I couldn’t even find the judging area, and some of the vendors who had entries in the contest didn’t know where this area was located either. Ads also stated there would be a hash bar, which I am not sure I found. I did see three or four vaporizing devices outside the warehouse which charged $5 to use (I’m not sure if you had to provide your own herb or not). There wasn’t a good sign to advertise this area or explain more about it, and while talking to some guests I discovered they didn’t even know this area existed.
Ads also stated to “wear your best jeans and cleanest tee as…they’ll also be shooting a promo film and you’ll certainly want to look your best.” A good number of attendees were so messed up (I don’t think on marijuana) that I’m not sure they’d leave a good impression in a film. While I was outside observing a street artist paint, a man not 15 feet from me began throwing up in multi-colors all over the ground. He didn’t bother moving or turning, or even walking away. I’m also not sure what sort of impression vomit all over the place leaves, but it wasn’t one I was happy with.
I would recommend Harvest Cup if you’re in the Southern California area and are looking to have an enjoyable afternoon. I wouldn’t except to learn anything about new laws or advocacy, or even sampling different strains. Instead think of it as the biggest headshop you’ve ever been into. The street art was intriguing, and some of the innovative products the vendors had made it worth it (such as smAshtrays and Herbal Eats). And of course if you like live music it was definitely worth $20. I cannot attest to the quality of the judging/VIP ticket, as I couldn’t even find anyone who understood where or what this ticket actually included.
If there is a Harvest Cup next year, I hope the organizers pick up what attendees liked and didn’t like, and what worked and did not work from this year. I believe that with some tailoring to the crowd and needs of the industry Harvest Cup could be a great event.