L.A. Rising Amplifies Social Issues At Music Festival This Weekend

Photo: Rage Against the Machine, Lauryn Hill, Muse (Getty Images)

Los Angeles is turning up the amps in anticipation of the music event of the summer–L.A. Rising. Descending upon Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday is headliner Rage Against the Machine, along with Muse, Rise Against, Lauren Hill, Immortal Technique and El Gran Silencio.

But it’s not just about rocking out at the all-day fest, politics and activism are also on the agenda. Rage has never shied away from promoting their beliefs (sometimes in radical ways, like burning the American flag at Woodstock ’99–yikes). But the music festival’s Re-Education Camp promises to harness the power of music-loving changemakers into positive action.

“Music undoubtedly affects the way people see certain things and how they react to what it is they see,” said Maureen McCarthy, an intern for Global Inheritance, the nonprofit organization that is facilitating the Re-Education Camp. “The bands at L.A. Rising care about using their voices to motivate their fans to pursue change, and as activists themselves, their beliefs are deeply embedded in their performances and overall fame.”

The Re-Education Camp will bring together more than 30 nonprofits with a focus on big issues facing L.A., like war, immigration, poverty and labor.

“We are passionate about ending the wars overseas, immigrant rights, protecting working families and combating hunger and homelessness in L.A.,” said Rage guitarist Tom Morello. “We want to present our fans the opportunity to get informed and get involved while we rock them senseless.”

Attending groups include: Amnesty International, Iraq Veterans Against War, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, The Sound Strike, Food Not Bombs, It Gets Better Project and Greenpeace. Also in the mix is Axis of Justice, an organization founded by Rage’s Morello and System of a Down’s Serj Tankian to bring together music fans, musicians and political organizations to fight for social change.

“Of course music brings people together, and can inspire a better world and all that, but this festival is about saying something,” said McCarthy. “These artists and their music have the power to engage the crowd in the first step toward making this statement. The festival is about making L.A. a place of progressive thought and transformative action, and I am excited and grateful to be a part of something with so much potential to make an impact in my hometown.”

Going to be in L.A. this weekend? Get the deets about L.A. Rising and the Re-Education Camp.

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Check Out Global Inheritance

Check Out Global Inheritance

Learn about the organization facilitating L.A. Rising's Re-Education Camp and find out how to get involved.

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Watch Rage's Guerrilla Videos

Watch Rage's Guerrilla Videos

Check out the series of videos following Rage Against the Machine as they get ready for this weekend's festival.