MAIN ST ‚Äî The 13th annual Endless Summer SOULstice takes over Main Street this weekend, featuring free concerts from more than 15 bands and a sidewalk sale.
The free celebration runs Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Live music will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. on four stages situated on and near Main Street.
Concert-goers can take in tribute bands ranging from seven-piece ensemble The Rising, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band, to Turn the Page, a Fullerton, Calif. band that pays homage to Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band.
It is estimated that 12,000 visitors will be packing the festival this weekend, Gary Gordon, coordinating producer of SOULstice, said.
The festival is usually held in June, but this year producers had some difficulties getting the financing together, Gordon, who serves as executive director of the Main Street Business Improvement Association, said. The association produces the festival each year along with various sponsors such as Buy Local Santa Monica, Edgemar Center for the Arts, Areal Restaurant,¬† L.A. Weekly and others.
It‚Äôs also smaller this year in terms of the number of stages, Gordon said. In the past there have been as many as seven stages and last year there were six stages, he said. The stages will be located at or near Edgemar, 220 Fitness, Areal restaurant and Enterprise Fish Co.
“Even with the difficulties, we‚Äôre still excited about it,” Gordon said. “It‚Äôs going to be a great festival.”
The festival‚Äôs budget also fell in line with last year‚Äôs ‚Äî roughly $26,000, Gordon said.
However, this year Gordon said the association had to add two extra police officers because the Edgemar stage is situated farther than the rest of the stages.
“That‚Äôs just one detail of many in terms of putting it together and why it‚Äôs smaller,” Gordon said. “The cost of the police officers has gone up.”
SOULstice is a festival that celebrates the “quirkiness and uniqueness and authenticity of Main Street,” Jennifer Taylor, economic development administrator for City Hall, said.
Taylor said Main Street businesses collectively recorded about $111 million in taxable sales last year.
“It‚Äôs helping raise the spotlight on Main Street and all the businesses and a fun way for the community and residents and businesses to come together and celebrate all that Main Street is about,” Taylor said.
Many of the businesses are owned by locals, she added.
Twenty-five Main Street-based businesses will be participating in the festival, Gordon said. It‚Äôs the second year for 220 Fitness, which has sponsored a stage both times, Matteo Baker, CEO and founder of 220 Fitness, said. During the concerts last year, Baker said the fitness club got more than 20 new memberships in one day.
“It gave me the ability to promote from the stage and pick the bands,” Baker said. “It was worth the investment.”
This year, 220 Fitness is bringing in singer Michelle Delamor, a former “American Idol” contestant.
Joel Gilbert, the front man for Highway 61 Revisited, a Bob Dylan tribute band that will be performing this weekend, said the crowd seems to always be in a very festive mood, which makes it fun.
“It‚Äôs gotten better each year ‚Äî more people and more enthusiasm,” Gilbert said. “The fans are wonderful. They‚Äôre very enthusiastic.”
He added that there are several original Bob Dylan band members in Highway 61 Revisited.
For a schedule of the events, mainstreetsm.com.