Highland

First gentrification, now a pandemic. Can Highland Park’s fabled music scene survive?

Rappcats record shop in Highland Park, which has survived amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Other neighborhood stores have not been as fortunate. <span class="copyright">(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Rappcats record shop in Highland Park, which has survived amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Other neighborhood stores have not been as fortunate. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

On March 7, Ryan Pollie threw the inaugural Highland Park Folk Festival, a free concert and comedy show held under the winsome tree canopy at Tierra de la Culebra Park. The show from the singer-songwriter (a resident of next-door Eagle Rock, and signed to powerhouse L.A. indie ANTI- Records) drew around 300 people to see more than a dozen local acts and comedians.

It was, as the 31-year-old Pollie described, “one of the best days of my life, that a show like that could be feasible in one of the most beautiful places to live in the world.”

Just four days later though, COVID-19 hit and local music got walloped. “There was no sense of what was coming. We had no idea of

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