Taste of Soul was created and founded in 2005 by Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., CEO of Bakewell Media and Executive Publisher of the LA Sentinel/LA Watts Times Newspapers. Taste of Soul Family Festival has been dubbed by Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, as the largest one-day ‘free’ street festival and event in all of L.A. City & County, with over 350,000 attendees on legendary Crenshaw Blvd. Taste of Soul takes place annually, every third Saturday in October, featuring a taste of all things “soulful,” from local and international cuisine, to your favorite quick-eats that reflect a Black cultural experience, fused with diverse cultures and traditions.
The festival boasts of five amazing performance stages, featuring world renown artists, award-winning singers and your favorite bands. From Queen Latifah to Stevie Wonder, Chante Moore, Ginuwine, Doug E. Fresh, Brandy, War, Kenny Lattimore, Major, En Vogue and many of your favorite artists. To honor the immense talent from local communities, Starquest is an annual singing competition for kids and adults, with winners receiving cash prizes and recording opportunities from industry professionals.
Taste of Soul is much more than a Food festival but a community gathering, a festival dedicated to presenting high-end entertainment and a cultural experience to the South L.A. community for no charge. And we didn’t forget about the kids! Children’s Zone is the festival’s own community and safe-place for children, featuring a live Kidz Stage, as well as fun games, contests, raffles, face-painting, etc., with health and social service resources for parents too!
For adult beverages, quench your thirst in the popular Beer Garden, which also features a local’s favorite dance floor and DJ, spinning your favorite tunes. For visual arts enthusiasts, the festival offers the works of accomplished local and international artists, as well authentic urban clothing, exotic jewelry, and other fine offerings from our carefully curated merchandise vendors.
Our partners and sponsors support our vision and are influencers in the community. Taste of Soul promotes the recycling of community dollars by supporting local and small businesses, as well as supporting South L.A. neighborhoods and beyond through benefiting organizations, Mothers in Action and the Brotherhood Crusade. These organizations provide year-long educational, health, social services and resources to under-served communities throughout the year. Taste of Soul is known for pop-up guests such as social justice icons, Jessie Jackson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Taste of Soul is a free family-friendly event, hosted in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH, and 94.7 The Wave, and Hyundai. The largest street festival in L.A. takes place in the 8th and 10th council districts, represented by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, Jr. With the support of our partners and sponsor, TOS offers a vast number of resources, including social services, healthcare information, and job recruitment. “At Taste of Soul, you can eat great food, see great performances, be around loving people, and you can even get a job!” says founder, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr.
Taste of Soul is proud to have as its Chairpersons, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, Council President, Herb Wesson, Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson and LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas. Co-chairs are: L.A. Councilman Curren Price, Congressmember Karen Bass, Assemblymembers Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Autumn Burke and Mike Gipson, LAUSD Board Member, George McKenna, CBS2/KCAL9 News anchor, Pat Harvey, and the Law Firm of Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt.
Remember, Taste of Soul is free to the public and takes place on iconic Crenshaw Blvd., between Barack Obama Blvd. and Stocker St., attracting over 350,000+ mostly African American and others to the event. EVERYONE IS WELCOME at TASTE OF SOUL!!! And don’t forget your appetite! With over 150 various delicious food offerings, you’ll need it!
If you see yourself as a Taste of Soul Nation Vendor, call 323 299-3800.
Entry fee: FREE!
Annual Attendance: 350,000+
Created & Founded by: Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. Chairman, Bakewell Media &
Publisher of the
Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper
Vendors: Approx. 300 Food & Merchandising Vendors
City of Los Angeles
94.7 The Wave
Radio Free 102.3 KJLH
Benefiting Partner Organizations:
Mothers in Action