Santa Monica officials battling over Twilight Concert Series

SANTA MONICA -The Twilight Concert Series, a Santa Monica summer tradition that has lasted for 32 years could possibly end if one city official has his way. Santa Monica Arts Commissioner Phil Brock told the media in January that “the Twilight Dance Concerts are now a security burden to our city,” and “must be canceled or reimagined.”

First and foremost, citizens of a liberal democratic society – like we have in Santa Monica, shouldn’t hide indoors because there are some who would do us harm. However, despite being a security concern, the cost of holding concert series is growing.   This year, cost cutting measures are being taken to keep the concert alive and the public engaged. The concert, which typically begins in July, will now start in June. Unfortunately, the number of concerts produced will shrink by 20% compared to years past.  Therefore, the City decided to reduce the weekly series from eight to 10 weeks.

Locals, Angelinos, and thousands of tourists have crowded the streets and flocked to Santa Monica Pier on Thursday nights. With the sole purpose of forgetting about work and relaxing with family and friends, the Twilight Concert Series is one of Santa Monica’s most beloved traditions and is an iconic event in Santa Monica.

Executive Director of the concerts, Jay Farrand, is adamant about keep the series alive. However, with more attendees, growing costs, and an already shrinking calendar, how long can the can the city continue to support the series which for one Santa Monica resident, “Is the best part of the summer,” and “A great way to enjoy the beach.”

Last year, the number of spectators per concert exceeded several thousand by some reports. The problem is the more people that come, the more security and city infrastructure is needed. Those personnel and additional facilities cost money and the question is, “Where will the city locate the funds?”