Can The Santa Monica Pier Become A Great Concert Venue?

Concert photos by the L.A. Times

Friday and 7 a.m. Monday, and 79 of them were released on bond, according to Sheriff Mike Emery. Drug-related arrests related to the Coliseum event added to the jails population issues, he said. The event impacted us in a negative way in terms of our population. We had nine drug arrests from traffic stops of people going to the concert. There were two drug overdoses reported before 10 a.m., said Emery. A traffic stop by McLean County sheriffs officers netted 2 pounds of marijuana scheduled for delivery to concert patrons, said the sheriff. On Saturday, the jails population peaked at 270, a number that includes those held on new charges along with people serving sentences and awaiting trial. A decision on when the inmates will be returned to McLean County will be made after a review of the population, said Emery. Bloomington police reports indicate that Ecstasy, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana were found in vehicles of people stopped Friday afternoon. During the concert, a man was removed after he was found naked on the floor. He was charged with aggravated battery to a police officer for allegedly kicking an officer who tried to restrain him. More than two dozen Bloomington police officers were at the concert on hire-back status, meaning the Coliseum, which is owned by the city but privately managed, will reimburse the city for their salary, including overtime. Bloomington Fire Chief Mike Kimmerling said eight paramedics were stationed at the concert venue, also on hire-back status. Its not uncommon for the fire department to staff events there but the fire chief noted that guests at previous Bassnectar shows have needed medical attention for issues ranging from dehydration to substance abuse.

Concert Injuries – Yes, They Occur and What You Can Do


This weekend the pier is to host Way Over Yonder, an inaugural two-day roots-music event connected to the venerable Newport Folk Festival with performances Saturday and Sunday by Neko Case, Conor Oberst and Calexico. And Oct. 19 will bring the comedy-based Festival Supreme, assembled by Jack Black and his mock-rock band Tenacious D. The shows are part of what pier official Jay Farrand called “a larger effort to get people to take a second look at the pier to think of it not just as somewhere you take Grandma from Kansas.” But for Frank and Fleischmann whose respective companies, Spaceland and Rum & Humble, put on concerts at the Echo and the Hollywood Bowl, among other spots the activity also reflects their desire to establish a new home for music on the Westside, where a dearth of large and mid-sized venues intensified with the closing this summer of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. PHOTOS: Unexpected musical collaborations “People here need a place where they can gather in large numbers for music,” said Fleischmann, who pointed to high rents and restrictive permitting as reasons the Westside generally lacks such spaces. The century-old Santa Monica Pier, an instantly identifiable but historically significant landmark, makes for a complex solution to that problem. Jay Sweet, who supervises the Newport Folk Festival, said the pier appealed to him for Way Over Yonder because it’s an “iconic place that’s not a traditional music venue” similar to Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island, where Newport has taken place since 1959. “There’s an overall vibe there,” said Cliff’s manager, Ernie Gonzalez, who added that the pier attracts an audience more diverse than at other venues. “I went to a show recently at the Greek Theatre with an artist who’s been around for as long as Jimmy,” he said. “And it was kind of the obvious demographic. But at the pier it was all across the board.” Yet there are also structural limitations the stage for Way Over Yonder had to be designed according to load-bearing considerations and the long-established reluctance of arty Eastsiders to travel west. Brandon Lavoie, who until recently worked as a talent buyer at Santa Monica’s Central Social Aid and Pleasure Club, remembered “literally going to the Echo on Monday night and begging the opening band to come play a headlining slot on Friday.” Still, Frank and Fleischmann say that turnout at this summer’s Twilight shows along with strong advance ticket sales for Way Over Yonder suggest that the pier is meeting a need, one they hope to cultivate with even more concerts in 2014. Farrand said he hasn’t yet decided how many gigs is the right number for a location that, unlike a club or theater, caters to a varied clientele. “We have natural visitors to the restaurants and the amusement park, and we don’t want to alienate them,” he said.

Concert to benefit music foundation The Project Matters to be held Wednesday at Mexicali Live

WHAT: Benefit concert for The Project Matters. WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday. WHERE: Mexicali Live, 1409 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck; 201-833-0011 or . HOW MUCH: $15 and $18. MORE INFO: . The initial goal of The Project Matters foundation was modest. “All I wanted to do was help a kid buy a pack of strings, something so small which I know would mean a lot, because you go through them so quickly,” said Karen High. “I know. I lived it. I witnessed it. We had the means for $10 here and $10 there, a lot of kids don’t.” The retired teacher from Freehold, her husband William and son Matt started The Project Matters in memory of her other son, Benjamin, a musician who died at 19. Since its inception, the foundation has bought those strings and done much more, including buying instruments and renting studio time for New Jersey bands with musicians 21 and under.

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