MAIN STREET — Santa Monica’s Summer Soulstice concert drew thousands of music lovers to Main Street on June 22 and organizers said the event’s popularity rebounded from the 2013 date change despite competition from a pivotal World Cup game.
In 2013, the concerts were moved to August and Gary Gordon said the change, combined with a decrease in the number of acts, cut into attendance. He said the changes prompted several new volunteers to get involved this year and he credited their energy for helping rebuild the event.
“It takes an enormous amount of work and we have a great committee,” he said. “Some are ones who were displeased with how things shook out last year and instead of just complaining about it, they jumped in, said ‘hey were’ going to make it better’ and they did.”
The Main Street Business Improvement Association hosted the 14th Annual Summer SOULstice Festival on Main Street on June 22. The event included performances by 15 bands, food, sidewalk sales, and shopping as a fundraiser to support Heal the Bay.
Kelley Coughlan, Managing Partner with Melrose Public Relations and one of the event organizers, also credited the event committee.
“It was an excellent turnout, incredible weather, and really great bands,” she said. “People seemed to be really happy and excited about our partnership with Heal The Bay. It was an awesome community effort. Our event committee this year met weekly for the past few months and included roughly 15 people at each meeting, which was fantastic. It was a great effort on many parts.”
Gordon said many of the bands were returning favorites that are requested year after year by residents but he said he also tries to bring a few new bands each year.
“We try and do the diversity, it’s never been all tribute bands,” he said. “We have some of the same people every year, well yeah, because I get calls a month or two in advance asking if someone is going to be band, we try to break in new bands but we also stick with bands that we know are going to be popular.”
Gordon said residents often provide feedback via the associations’ Twitter page, Facebook or email.
“There was just a great vibe, that people were having fun, and that’s my favorite complement,” he said. “Ultimately it’s very important that the merchants had a good day but it takes s few days to get feedback about that. I love that people were having fun on Main Street.”
Gordon said a World Cup game featuring the U.S. team had a small impact on attendance during the afternoon but he thought crowds rebounded for the evening performances.
“The stages near the end of the day, the crowds looked almost like the usually do, maybe just a touch off,” he said.
Coughlan said much of the success should be attributed to the hard work of the local businesses.
“Enterprise Fish Company, AREAL, 220 Fitness, RAWvolution, Three Twins Ice Cream, At The Pool, and all the other businesses who participated in the event committee and of course the grants that we got from the City of Santa Monica- which was also key to our success,” she said.