Today is the day BeachLife in Redondo Beach was to grow up
by Allen Sanford and Rob Lissner
Today is the day we were supposed to high five each other as we walked in the office, boxed coffee flowing, and marveled that the weather was going to be perfect for the weekend. The fatigue from the last 10 days of double shifts to get the venue ready would be lost as the adrenaline in our body prepared for 10,000 people to arrive with pure stoke and excitement in their hearts. It is the day that would mark BeachLife becoming a second year phenomenon, defining what a boutique curated festival could be. BeachLife Festival, and Redondo Beach would be known nationally after today for being a city filled with music and culture.
Today is the day that world renowned artists would have been in our beach town – Ziggy Marley, Ben Harper, the UB40 crew, Counting Crows, and so many more. Nobody in the South Bay would have ever believed that this could happen where we live, and that every single one of us could be united in agreement on one thing – that live music is good for us all – if but for a weekend.
We would have seen people today on every side of every debate in town, and in the South Bay. For one day, one weekend, we would have seen those people keeping the same beat, dancing the same dance, and enjoying the same live music on our beachfront. BeachLife would have given our community a few days of much needed rest from political debate and disagreeing about anything and everything these days.
Today would have also been the day that we had the pleasure of watching the BeachLife Team execute a year’s worth of preparation and hard work. Our festival would have employed over 500 people this weekend, all perfectly in sync executing their specific function, with the consumer having no real grasp of how intricate this is to pull off – but our team pride would have come in knowing exactly that.
Today would have been the day that the local economy soared. The hotels would have been sold out, the local businesses would have been full with concert goers getting breakfast and Bloody Mary’s, and retail shops selling sunscreen and flip-flops. Millions of dollars would have been generated today in our local economy, and millions of people from around the world would have been watching the live stream of our Festival, as they did in 2019. We would have also generated six figures for the charitable causes we believe in that do real work year around keeping our ocean clean and helping our local community in more ways than we know.
It would also be the day that we’d see the strength & resolve in our Chief of Police, and without having to ask him, we wouldn’t doubt for one minute that he had personally taken care of keeping our community safe over the weekend. We would have high-fived every police officer we saw on-site, thankful that they are willing to do what they do for a living and protect us while we partied and forgot about life for a while. Same goes to our Fire Department – and all they do for us. We are very lucky.
Our City Council would have all been there today – the leaders in our City who helped make this happen, along with the City Staff that has been so unbelievably supportive of the BeachLife vision. Whereas most cities can create obstacles, the elected members and staff of Redondo Beach have literally made this happen, and today we would have told each one of them how much we appreciated their support, and would have cheered them with a little shot of Donnie Julio if they would have allowed us.
Today we would have had a few hundred people telling us (again) that we should keep the stage up permanently down on the Waterfront, and that it looks cooler than a parking structure would have. BeachLife would have captured the imagination of people on both sides of the development debate, and opened up a different conversation, a new way of thinking in a new era. Who knows? Maybe both sides of the coin would have found consensus that art, music, and community are a great foundation for new regrowth.
And late tonight we would have come home after 16 hours on my feet, with crispy sun-baked skin, and a huge smile on our faces. I (Allen) would have looked at the pictures that my wife took of Annika, our 2-year-old daughter at the festival (with her headphones on of course!), and I would go to sleep with the satisfaction that the BeachLife Festival contributed something intangible to our Community as a business, and stayed authentic to our culture doing it. We all would have slept like children after a long day at the beach, and then happily did it all again for two more days.
We are not sure when yet exactly, but BeachLife Festival is coming back. Stronger and better. We look forward to sharing the experience with you all again. Until then, stay safe and listen to lots of music. ER
by Kevin Cody
Kevin is the publisher of Easy Reader and Beach. Share your news tips. 310 372-4611 ext. 110 or kevin[at]easyreadernews[dot]com