Hermosa Beach’s Concerts on the Beach have become one of the South Bay’s signature musical events. Photo by Jim Cody
The term “Sunday Funday” is used widely in the South Bay social circuits, often referring to day-drinking, bar-hopping, and general debauchery. Fortunately, Allen Sanford of Saint Rocke took it upon himself four years ago to rescue the Hermosa Summer Concerts on the Beach from oblivion, thus creating a cure for the common Sunday Funday.
The City of Hermosa Beach had hosted summer concerts on the beach for fourteen years, but when the economy tanked in 2008 there was talk of canceling.
“Usually in hard economic times, the first thing to go is art and music,” Sanford said.
Former city manager Steve Burrell asked Sanford if he could help. Sanford was a huge fan of the concerts on the beach and took on the $50,000 expense in order to continue the tradition. And now he has taken it to new levels.
“We are at the point that our stage is 60 by 60,” Sanford said. “We have a full floated PA system, which means the speakers are hanging so people far back can hear it. And the artist level is leagues above what it once was.”
Last summer, Sanford hosted his third series, held on the beach adjacent to Hermosa Pier every Sunday for four weeks, and featured big names like Nikka Costa and the Spazmatics. This year, the series will continue to span genres with funk and rock, nostalgic tribute, Hawaiian reggae artists, as well as a surprise act on the final Sunday.
Sanford has just announced the first artist: Disney artist and up-and-comer ZZ Ward will perform on Sunday, August 4. The rest of the line-up will be slowly released via the Hermosa Summer Concerts Facebook page.
“Our sponsors like Dealer.com, Skechers, Fresh Bros. and the Hermosa Chamber of Commerce have all gone above and beyond for us,” Sanford said.
Manhattan and Redondo Beach also host their own free summer concerts. Manhattan’s Concerts in the Park run Sundays, 5-7 p.m. from June 23 until Labor Day at Polliwog Park. Opening the series is the city’s “official” band, the Hyperion Seranaders. The line up continues June 30 Scott Bruce (Elvis tribute), July 7 MCHS Jazz Bank (Jazz), July 14 Doo Wah Riders (country), July 21 Scott Whyte (alt rock), July 28 Woodstock Tribute, Aug. 4 Barely Legal (Surf music), Aug. 11 Hard Day’s Night (Beatles Tribute), Aug. 18 Susie Hansen Latin Band, Aug. 25 Fantastic Diamond (Neil Diamond tribute) and Sept. 1 Nathan Shrake (Classic Rock).
Redondo Beach holds concerts on its pier Thursday and Saturday nights 6-8 p.m. July 6 to August 23. Line ups for the 2013 series will be available online soon (redondopier.com).