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Scaled-Down Santa Monica Pier Concert Series Announces Fall Lineup
By Jorge Casuso
July 27, 2018 -- Santa Monica's "reimagined" concert series on the Pier kicks off with a hot Latin beat not amid the sweltering heat of summer but in September.
The new schedule is part an effort by the City to scale down the wildly popular series that grew from a cozy local event to a regional draw as it enters its 34th year.
Instead of eight Thursday nights concerts, the newly christened "twilight on the Pier" concert series will stage shows on five consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning September 5 and end with a Sunday evening finale on October 7.
Each show will showcase artists from different corners of the globe instead of featuring a big name draw with an up-and-coming artist as the opening act.
The performances will take place on three stages in different parts of the Pier and will be complemented with "region-specific culinary and craft vendors and immersive art" incorporated throughout the Pier.
"This series is a true celebration of the values that the Pier holds so dearly: diversity, collaboration, and fun," SMPC Executive Director Negin Singh said in a statement.
"Twilight on the Pier will feel different in a lot of ways from past years, but the spirit stays the same: getting people from all walks of life together to connect in a glorious setting with music and art."
The City Council approved the changes in December, when it rejected a recommendation from staff to put the series on a one-year haitus to help the City deal with overflow crowds that posed potential dangers.
Instead, the Council voted to downsize and re-brand the concert series, shift its schedule to after the busy summer season and cut its budget, which had ballooned to $800,000 in unanticipated costs for policing last year.
The Council alloted $400,000 to cover those costs and said operations would be suspended if that figure is surpassed ("Santa Monica 'Twilight' Concert Series on Pier Survives Proposal for 2018 Hiatus," December 13, 2017).
This year's series kicks off with a "Latin Wave" lineup featuring Havana's Orquesta Akokan that organizers said will "ignite the festival with ferocious wind and rhythm sections that move like one giant rhythmic machine."
The series -- which also will feature Austrailian rock, raggae, Brazilian beat music and R&B -- closes with South Asia's Red Barrat, who will perform "a wild and exuberant confluence of Bhangra music with anthemic, psyched-out twists. (For a full schedule click here)
“We hope locals will come out this fall to enjoy a new take on an old tradition with a focus on art and culture to be enjoyed by all generations.”
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