Local Currents

David Vanderveen

David Vanderveen

Music in the Park

“We are spirits in the material world.” The Police.


Music in the Park is something that I hadn’t experienced. The shows aren’t a big secret. Maybe because of the crowds or because our kids don’t hang out in parks anymore, I had never gone before. That was a mistake.


Last Sunday, my wife and I headed straight from the beach to Sapphire Pantry for some picnic supplies and then to hear The Police Experience, featuring Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters on drums. We thought we were going to hear amazing drumming in a really fun band. I mean, who doesn’t love the Police and want to dance and sing along after a few cocktails in the park?


Bluebird Park was full of fun people, a lot of friends from town. The best part of the show was the crowd. Seeing grandparents and grandkids, parents with toddlers, teenagers and post-high school hipsters all hanging out together was spectactular.


In my business, my partners and I focus on understanding the occasions that are cool enough for the teen/hipster years and still translate to parents and families. In my experience, you can’t fake that. It has to be organic, natural and real. We call it “authentic”—something that everyone can see and connect to in their own way. Music in the Park is authentic.


Taylor’s drumming was insane. Someone, I think it was either Annie Brogger or Kelly Brown, said that he reminded her of Animal, the crazed drummer from the Muppets. I looked him up on YouTube, particularly the scene from the old TV show where he has a drum battle against Buddy Rich. I’d like to see a drum battle between Animal and Taylor. You could light a city for a week with that energy.


There are times when it feels like Laguna has lost its soul. With the spate of recent attempted bans on Laguna Beach lifestyle, I’ve found myself more focused on what I can’t do than on opportunities for fun.


Being able to enjoy adult beverages with friends and family in a local park with great live music and at no cost to attendees seems like it’s breaking rules. It’s too damn good! It sets us all free for a few hours to enjoy the people and place that we share.


There is something about music that connects us as a community. You can feel the collective soul of a small beach town for what it really is–us. Our material lives fall away, and we find our selves as common souls celebrating life together.


David Vanderveen is a Laguna Beach resident, husband, father and energy drink entrepreneur. His email is [email protected].

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