The psychedelic sounds of Japanese musician and producer Cornelius marked the end of the Santa Monica Pier’s thirty-fifth Twilight on the Pier series.
Twilight on the Pier has experienced a makeover since the massive crowds it drew back in 2017. The concerts used to take place on Thursdays, once a week starting in late-June and ending in mid-August. Due to safety concerns, the Santa Monica Pier Corporation changed the dates and the set-up for the 2018 Summer Concert Series and these changes have carried over into the 2019 series.
This year, Twilight on the Pier took place every Wednesday from Aug. 21 to Sept. 25. Another major difference was the way this event was set up.
“I was here for a few of the shows last summer, you know they switched up the format last summer, so they moved it to later in the summer to early fall now, and they made multiple stages and so they kind of intentionally wanted to thin the crowds a little bit,” said KCRW volunteer coordinator Michael Fanelli. “So last summer was definitely notably much slower but I think this year has picked back up.”
Instead of having one main stage as the Santa Monica Pier Corporation has done in previous years, there were three separate stages. The Main Stage was the largest stage located the closest to the pier entrance.
Further along the pier, the Comedy Stage was tucked in beside the Roller Coaster and Ferris Wheel, and the West End Stage was placed at the very edge of the pier overlooking the ocean. These major differences in the Twilight Pier set up tremendously impacted the turnout.
A lot of concert-goers had mixed reactions to these changes. Santa Monica local Keve Kemper has attended many past Twilight on the Pier Concerts and was somewhat disappointed.
“They’ve definitely made it so (that) less people come, it’s much colder and it’s on a weird day of the week,” Kemper said. “I had the most fun when I was here during the Khalid concert because I heard there (were) 60,000 people.”
However, not everyone shared in Kemper’s opinion as new Santa Monica resident Hassan Elhadari left the event excited about coming back next year.
“This is my first time actually being at a concert like thing here in the U.S. and as it’s my first time it’s been really amazing and is something I can look forward to,” Elhadari said.