As the acting Chairman of the Seal Beach summer concerts for the past three years, I can tell you with certainty the concerts have grown in popularity. The question of whether they have grown too popular is one that can only be answered by attending the event.
When I was appointed as Chairman of the concerts in 2011, the issue of people saving space with giant tarps at 5 am was becoming notably problematic. Week by week, as we progressed through the concert series, the number of people putting out their chairs also increased.
Even a group of college kids got in on the action. In broad day light, the students managed to create a giant 7 foot tall pile of chairs and blankets which were set out earlier in the day by opportunistic concert attendees.
Also during this time, a group of Main Street merchants expressed their dismay over having vendor’s at the concert selling food, drink and merchandise. Ultimately an opportunity was created during the 2012 concerts for local restaurants to capitalize on the influx of hungry, thirsty concert goers by providing specialized concert menus and pricing.
Working closely with the city staff and city council to resolve these challenges resulted in a partnership that allows for better management of event. For the first time in 2012, the concert’s were presented by Chamber of Commerce and the City of Seal Beach.
For the 2012 and beyond concert seasons, both the Chamber and the City desired to keep the park space open to the public on the day of the concert. In order to reach this goal, a 4 pm curfew was implemented on the placement of unattended personal belongings. With the exception a few folks, this new curfew was met with enthusiasm and relief.
Now with the 2013 summer concerts about to begin, I wonder just how much bigger the event can grow? Last year we placed a single speaker on the lawn opposite where the stage is located to encourage late arrivals and families with small children to use this area.
But what happens when that space fills up? Should the concert committee consider blocking off Ocean Avenue between 10th Street and Main Street; as is done for other large events? I’m interested to hear if you feel the concerts have grown too popular and what you propose as a solution. Leave your thoughts to this question in the comments area below.