Thursday, June 20, 2024

BeachLife music festival cut short amid high winds

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  • Bassist Elwood Francis of ZZ Top performs on the Low...

    Bassist Elwood Francis of ZZ Top performs on the Low Tide stage during Day Three of Beachlife Festival on May 5th, 2024 in Redondo Beach, CA. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • ZZ Top performs on the Low Tide stage during Day...

    ZZ Top performs on the Low Tide stage during Day Three of Beachlife Festival on May 5th, 2024 in Redondo Beach, CA. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • ZZ Top performs on the Low Tide stage during Day...

    ZZ Top performs on the Low Tide stage during Day Three of Beachlife Festival on May 5th, 2024 in Redondo Beach, CA. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Drummer Frank Beard of ZZ Top performs on the Low...

    Drummer Frank Beard of ZZ Top performs on the Low Tide stage during Day Three of Beachlife Festival on May 5th, 2024 in Redondo Beach, CA. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • The crowd enjoys the music and vibes during Day Three...

    The crowd enjoys the music and vibes during Day Three of Beachlife Festival on May 5th, 2024 in Redondo Beach, CA. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • An evacuation order put on hold Day Three of Beachlife...

    An evacuation order put on hold Day Three of Beachlife Festival on May 5, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • An evacuation order puts on hold Day Three of Beachlife...

    An evacuation order puts on hold Day Three of Beachlife Festival on May 5, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

REDONDO BEACH — Thousands of music lovers filed peacefully, but disappointedly, out of the Seaside Lagoon BeachLife Festival grounds late Sunday afternoon as high winds forced officials to shut down the festival with a few hours left to go and several acts yet to perform.

An announcement from festival officials posted on social media sites said: “It is with great sadness that we must cancel our programming at BeachLife this Sunday evening, due to a serious wind event that put the general public at risk. While we take extraordinary measures to keep our fans and artists safe, and while absolutely none of our engineered structures or systems failed, winds quickly reached very dangerous speeds and we put safety first. Alongside the Redondo Beach Police and Fire Chiefs, our Ownership made a collective decision that to continue would be unsafe and put people’s life in peril.”

Related: BeachLife fans discover new, local music

The initial call to evacuate the outdoor Redondo Beach concert site came at about 5 p.m., said Redondo Beach Police Lt. Mark Valdivia.

A wind advisory was in effect along the beach cities until 9 p.m. on Sunday, with wind speeds around 15 to 30 mph, and gusts up to 40 mph, said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard.

At first, the action called “a one-hour evacuation” with plans to call ticketholders back via social media, said Angela Moreno, BeachLife spokesperson, when the site was deemed safe. But the announcement that the event had been officially cut off arrived around 6:45 p.m.

“No life is worth a show, and in our Community, BeachLife stays committed above all to put the safety of our kids, families and music lovers first. In the coming days, we will be unwinding the collateral consequences of this decision, and we ask for your support and patience while we do,” the statement said. “Please go to the main entrance if you have items left in the festival and we will escort you in. Thank you for your understanding and we’ll see you soon.”

Even if the winds had died down, restarting the show would have been problematic deep into the evening, because of local noise ordinances.

The winds grew stronger as Sunday went on — and really started picking up in the late afternoon, especially close to shore, at the LowTide stage where the longtime rock act ZZ Top was performing.

About 20 minutes after the band launched into its set, frontman Billy Gibbons, with his signature beard flapping in the gusts, exclaimed: “Can someone turn the fan down?”

At about 5:25 p.m., the band fled the stage.

Thousands of fans soon followed suit, calmly flowing out of the festival grounds.

Dan and Nicole Brozost from Manhattan Beach had just arrived at BeachLife when the site was evacuated. They had not attended the prior two days and were on hand specifically to see the Trey Anastasio Band at 6:30 p.m. and My Morning Jacket at 7:50 p.m.

Neither act would be able to perform, along with Fleet Foxes.

“We’re disappointed, but of course we understand safety comes first, ” Dan Brozost said.

Lauren and Josh Crandall drove up Sunday from Carlsbad to see Fleet Foxes perform.

“The wind is unfortunate, said Josh “What do you do? These are huge stages right next to the ocean.”

The couple did catch a few acts, including pop stalwart Sugar Ray, a band that has performed at all five BeachLife festivals.

The Crandalls said they did not hear an announcement of the event’s cancellation at the venue. They saw the post on social media, however.

Weather was not a factor during the festival’s first two days. And acts earlier Sunday performed without interruption, until the winds worsened.

After the shutdown, security guards escorted people in groups of 10 to retrieve belongings from lockers near entrances.

This was the fifth iteration of the BeachLife music festival, which has become a mainstay in the South Bay, drawing about 30,000 people over three days.

The main May festival, and its country-Americana counterpart — BeachLife Ranch — have steadily grown, drawing higher-profile acts each year.

Gwen Stefani served as a headliner last year and Brad Paisley topped the Ranch fest bill.

This year, there was still plenty of music before the winds snarled the seaside scene.

Friday festival goers were treated to Seal, Dirty Heads and the legendary Sting.

Performing on Saturday were Local Natives, Devo and headliner Incubus.

Staff writers Hunter Lee, Michael Hixon contributed to this report 

  • Sugar Ray, performing May 5, is the only performer to...

    Sugar Ray, performing May 5, is the only performer to take the stage at the BeachLife Festival every yearl in its five-year history in Redondo Beach. (photo by Michael Hixon/SCNG)

  • Saxon Weiss performed on the SpeakEasy stage at the BeachLife...

    Saxon Weiss performed on the SpeakEasy stage at the BeachLife Festival on Sunday, May 5 in Redondo Beach. (photo by Michael Hixon/SCNG)

  • The Grateful Dead tribute band Wall of Sound performed for...

    The Grateful Dead tribute band Wall of Sound performed for the second time at the BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach on Sunday, May 5. (photo by Michael Hixon/SCNG)

  • Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd performs as part of the headlining...

    Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd performs as part of the headlining act of Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Indie Rock band Local Natives perform at the High Tide...

    Indie Rock band Local Natives perform at the High Tide stage during Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Indie Rock band Local Natives perform at the High Tide...

    Indie Rock band Local Natives perform at the High Tide stage during Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Local Natives vocalist Taylor Rice performs at the High Tide...

    Local Natives vocalist Taylor Rice performs at the High Tide stage during Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Local Natives guitarist Ryan Hahn performs at the High Tide...

    Local Natives guitarist Ryan Hahn performs at the High Tide stage during Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • The crowd enjoys Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach,...

    The crowd enjoys Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Devo lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh performs at the Low Tide...

    Devo lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh performs at the Low Tide stage during Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd performs as part of the headlining...

    Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd performs as part of the headlining act of Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Singer Dustin Parks of Cydeways performs at the Riptide stage...

    Singer Dustin Parks of Cydeways performs at the Riptide stage during Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • The crowd enjoys Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach,...

    The crowd enjoys Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd performs as part of the headlining...

    Incubus vocalist Brandon Boyd performs as part of the headlining act of Day Two of Beachlife Festival at Redondo Beach, CA on Saturday, May 4th, 2024. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

  • Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins pictured performing with his cover...

    Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins pictured performing with his cover band Chevy Metal at the 2019 BeachLife Festival. His son Shane Hawkins is now the band’s drummer two years after his father’s death. Chevy Metal returned to the BeachLife stage on May 4, 2024, with Shane Hawkins on drums. (photo by Michael Hixon/SCNG)

  • Seal performs on the Hightide stage during the Beachlife music...

    Seal performs on the Hightide stage during the Beachlife music festival in Redondo Beach on Friday, May 3, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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