LOS ANGELES Avant/Garde Diaries, a Daimler/Mercedes-Benz-backed initiative to bring together art and culture communities, launched its second festival on Thursday, kicking off the buzzy, Mike D-curated “Mercedes-Benz Transmission L.A.: A.V. Club” with a pre-opening party at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA downtown. An array of art-world guests filled the alfresco space adjacent to the Geffen Contemporary for an evening that included access to the colorful new exhibit, bites from chef Roy Choi's Kogi BBQ, and a headline musical performance from Santigold. Mercedes oversaw the exhibit and event, with the automaker's New Jersey-based supervisor for brand and lifestyle events and branded entertainment, Jasmine Golubic, tapping its agency of record, HL Group, to produce the pre-opening bash.
Guests spent the warm evening scooping up Kogi tacos and other dishes from servers who passed them, and also by queuing up at the brand's truck parked on-site. Between drinks and bites, they moved inside to check out the colorful exhibit, which included a room where they could listen to headphones playing music that synced up to artistic customizations of the Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupé, unveiled there for the first time.
KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole warmed up the crowd, which was eager to see headliner Santigold, who took the stage around 9 p.m. The musician, who was also performing at Coachella the weekends before and after the MOCA event, was permitted to perform despite her contract after Mike D himself called in a favor to Goldenvoice. (After all, no tickets were being sold to the private pre-opening, and thus there was no conflict with the desert music festival.)
The evening kicked off 17 days of exhibitions, concerts, DJ nights, and performances at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. It's scheduled to run through May 6, and is free to enter.