According to a report on la.curbed.com (http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/01/santa_monica_making_pier_concerts_lamer_to_cut_crowds.php), the Santa Monica City Council has decided to downsize the shows at the Pier’s Twilight Concert Series – meaning that they won’t book nationally known acts but lesser known bands as well as doing other things like no more big screens and speakers for the beach crowd to watch the show.
It is disappointing that this is coming to pass. Over the years, I have been able to experience acts like Buck Owens and Patti Smith there, where I wouldn’t have gotten seen otherwise.
In the Santa Monica Daily Press‘ article on this vote (http://smdp.com/council-votes-to-rein-in-twilight-concert-series/131216), last summer’s Jimmy Cliff concert is used as an example of how large (around 20,000 is the estimated number) the crowds have gotten for the shows. However the show the week before featured two young bands Gardens & Villas and Mr. Little Jeans who are just building a cult following. Looking at last year’s schedule, it seems to be mostly good acts with decent followings (Xavier Rudd, Nick Waterhouse, No Age) but hardly well-known performers to the average fan. The Cliff show seems more of the exception than the rule.
By unplugging the screen and speakers to the beach is particularly disappointing news for music-loving parents who have enjoyed a family beach picnic listening to music while the kids can play in the sand.
While I can certainly understand the City Council’s concerns about public safety, this decision, to use the old phrase, seems to be a real “buzz kill.”