By Donna Furey, Special to the Independent
For the first time in nearly a decade, a rock show plugs in at the Festival of Arts’ grounds on Saturday, Nov. 2, starting at 5:30 p.m. and closing out by 9:30 p.m., before the headliner at a typical concert takes the stage.
Despite the restrictions, the promoters of the show are pumped up about the opportunity to bring this show to Laguna Beach.
The benefit concert will feature Huntington Beach singer/songwriter Matt Costa, Colin Hay from Men at Work, emerging folk singer Carly Ritter, Los Angeles indie duo Trapdoor Social and Grammy nominated blues rocker Deborah Magone.
The Festival of Music is the brainchild of Tyler Russell, DJ and founder of Laguna’s only FM radio station, KX93.5. He sees the festival and its line-up as an extension of his business model based on the belief that radio programing should be local and community oriented.
A Chapman University graduate and experienced DJ, he saw the need for a station in Laguna, whose hills and canyons interfere with traditional line-of-site radio frequencies. He found a church in Laguna Niguel with an unused FCC license and obtained permission a year ago to establish a low power FM station, which covers most of Laguna Beach’s coastline from Crown Valley to Crystal Cove and inland as far as Big Bend. The not-for-profit radio station with four full-time employees plays alternative rock music during the day and features guest DJs in the evening.
With few “big space venues” in town, Russell and a concert-organizing team of six people, including representatives for security and production, pitched their benefit rock concert to the Irvine Bowl Policy Committee, which sanctioned the event. The bowl last hosted a similar outdoor event in 2002.
“Music is present on the grounds quite frequently throughout the summer so I think the Committee viewed this [concert] as being similar to summer events,” said City Council member Bob Whalen, one of two elected officials on the policy committee for the Irvine Bowl, which is a public park leased to the Festival of Arts.
“It was made quite clear to the radio station that there are noise levels that must be complied with and my understanding is that the station will be taking measurements to monitor noise levels,” Whalen said.
Admission is $35. Doors open at 4:30. Ticket holders may bring low beach chairs and blankets to enjoy the music and a picnic provided by food truck vendors.
Tickets may be purchased online at: www.KX93.5/FestivalofMusic. All proceeds will benefit The Boys and Girls Clubs of Laguna Beach, The Tony Hawk Foundation, the Mauli Ola Foundation.
The $150“VIP Experience” ticket includes gift bags, complimentary cocktails, dinner at Tivoli Terrace, designated seating and tickets to the November 1st pre- show at The Aliso Creek Inn.