The popular Summer Soulstice concert returns to Main street this Sunday, bringing live music, shopping, and beer and wine gardens. This event will be the Soulstice’s largest, closing down a large chunk of the street for the first time in its history.

Hunter Hall, executive director of the Main Street Business Improvement Association, said this year’s Soulstice will be “a whole different dynamic” compared to previous years.

“It’s just awesome,” Hall said. “It’s a great block party is what it is. We have more stages, more bands, a lot more booths — it’s a pumped up version of the same event that everyone’s known to come and love. There’s something for everyone.”

This year’s event will feature five live music stages, over 100 local vendors, and new this year, four beer and wine gardens and a nearly one-mile long car-free zone, stretching from Pico to Ocean Park.

Hall said safety was the utmost concern in making space for a car-free zone. Soulstice teamed up with Bird scooters and the City of Santa Monica to provide the event with as much pedestrian walkability as possible, giving bikes, scooters, and of course, walking pedestrians a sense of comfort.

“We worked diligently with the city and traffic engineering to make sure its a safe event for us and to make sure we have the confidence of our community,” he said. “We want that layer of security.”

If bands, beer, and music aren’t exactly your thing, businesses along Main street will all be open for shopping and perusal during the event. The Soulstice will also have a “rockstar pet party” for pets, a petting zoo, and rock climbing wall for kids.

“We worked very hard for the city and the community to make sure we had something for everyone to do,” Hall said.

With eyes towards the future, Hall says Summer Soulstice is “only going up from here,” planning to close the entirety of Main Street for the event’s 20th anniversary in 2020 with bigger bands, brands, and activities. While the goal is to grow, Hall said the community experience is what matters most.

“We just want people to have a good time. The world is a serious place and it’s getting more so, day by day. All too often people get wrapped up in darkness of the world and this even lets people have a nice time and engage the community. Summer Soulstice is a fun event meant for people to unwind, enjoy life, and enjoy our wonderful city of Santa Monica. “

Summer Soulstice is open to all ages. Admission to the event is free. Tickets for the Firestone Beer Garden are $10 and tickets for the VIP Bar Hopper are $40. For more information, please visit https://www.mainstreetsm.com/summer-soulstice/