DOWNTOWN — The producers of the summer Twilight Dance Series of free concerts are able to add an eighth show to the lineup thanks to a $20,000 sponsorship deal with the Bayside District Corp., a public-private management company that oversees Downtown Santa Monica on behalf of City Hall.
The popular pier concerts were in jeopardy of being significantly reduced or replaced with a less expensive run of free concerts produced by a local radio station because of declining support from corporate sponsors. Officials with the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp., which manages the pier and produces the concert series, said sponsorship revenue has dropped 80 percent from 2008.
A fundraising campaign was created and $155,000 raised, $35,000 coming from the City Council. The council also raised ticket prices for the pier’s historic carousel to help raise money for the concert series. The increase, proposed to begin May 1, would bring in an extra $150,000 a year, with $50,000 going toward the Twilight Dance Series.
The Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corp. has plans to add a ninth concert if it can raise an additional $27,000 by April 30. The dance series typically offers 10 shows each season.
“Both the staff and board felt strongly that we needed to show our support for this beloved event,” said Kathleen Rawson, CEO of Bayside. “The Twilight Dance Series has grown beyond a local summer tradition in Santa Monica, it’s beneficial to the entire Los Angeles area.”
Many of the 10,000 concert attendees park in the Downtown structures and either come early or stay late to meet friends, eat dinner, do a little shopping or just walk around, pier officials said. Bayside District Corp. hopes to encourage this symbiotic relationship between the pier and Downtown.
“I’m thrilled to see the outpouring of support and the most recent partnership with our sister organization, Bayside District Corp., to guarantee an eighth concert at this beloved series” said Kent Smith, chair of the Pier Restoration Corp. board. “This is fantastic news and makes us all realize what can be accomplished when we all work together.”
To make a tax-deductible donation or learn more about the Twilight Dance Series, visit www.santamonicapier.org.