The 22nd annual L.A. Times Festival of Books officially got underway Saturday morning with a performance by the USC Trojan Marching Band, which got festivalgoers dancing and cheering to a rendition of Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker" and, of course, "Fight On," among others.
Justin Dearborn, chief executive of Tronc Inc., The Times' parent company, and USC President C.L. Max Nikias delivered opening remarks.
"There is no better place to host this festival than the USC campus," said Nikias, noting that USC and the L.A. Times are the two oldest surviving nonreligious institutions in the city, with USC having been founded in 1880 and The Times in 1881.
UCLA hosted the festival for 15 years, but it was moved to USC in 2011.
About 200 people gathered around USC's main stage for the kickoff event at 10 a.m., already sweating from 80-degree heat and fierce sunshine. Temperatures were expected to approach 90 later in the day.
Joon-Ho Choi, an architecture professor at USC, came with his wife and three kids, ages 7, 7 and 5. He wanted his children to see the band and get introduced to new books, he said.
"The kids' section is the most interesting," Choi said. "And the travel guide section."