C For Men

Guests grab a bite before a performance at DESERT TRIP. Photography: Neil Husvar for Goldenvoice Desert Trip.
vegetable chirashi bowls by L.A.’s commissary, one of three pop-ups at coachella in 2016. Photography: Neil Husvar for Goldenvoice Desert Trip.
NIC ADLER. Photography courtesy of Goldenvoice.

How Nic Adler is Transforming the Culinary Lineup at Music Festivals

by slh

The hospitality scion is whipping up a whole new menu

“Music festivals used to be a ton of chain-link fence and some dude selling hot dogs,” Nic Adler remembers. Thanks to the hospitality scion’s vision, said culinary wasteland is now the domain of some of the food world’s most buzzed-about talents.“I was always around food and music,” says Adler, whose father, music mogul Lou Adler, opened the Roxy Theater in 1973 and the Rainbow a few years earlier on the Sunset Strip. The younger Adler owned a hip-hop club and two restaurants before managing a spate of Ozzfest-friendly bands and operating The Roxy for 15 years.

Four years ago, he was having a beer at the Rose Bowl with Paul Tollett, CEO of Goldenvoice (the powerhouse concert promoter behind Coachella), when Adler confessed that he saw greater opportunities for the festival’s food and beer program. That night, he wrote and sent a manifesto to Tollett. Adler has curated the desert happening’s food and beverage lineup ever since, bringing in top L.A. chefs like Ricardo Zarate and Neal Fraser, and orchestrating high-end sit-down experiences like Outstanding in the Field.

This summer, Adler will debut at Arroyo Seco (June 24-25), curating the food and music lineup at the festival headlined by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Mumford & Sons, set in Pasadena’s Brookside Park. He’s excited about the “highly layered and visual experiences” the event is creating with chefs like Union’s Bruce Kalman and République’s Walter Manzke. Adler is also set to oversee the culinary lineup for the Eat Drink Vegan festival, at the Rose Bowl on May 27, a gathering that will boast 100 L.A. food vendors ranging from Bondi Harvest to Trejo’s Tacos, all forsaking meat and dairy on their menus for the occasion. arroyosecoweekend.com; eatdrinkvegan.com.

Edited by LESLEY McKENZIE.

This article originally appeared in the C For Men Spring 2017 issue.