Upset Over U.S. Open “No Concerts”?
US OPEN OF SURFING JULY 26 – AUGUST 3, 2014
Pictured is a scene from a previous year’s US Open of Surfing free concert
The word is just starting to sink in with the thousands of music & beach party fans that U.S. Open of Surfing hosted in Huntington Beach will not have concerts on the beach in 2014. This should be no surprise to attendees. Some visited downtown Huntington Beach and witnessed the riots after the event in 2013.
After the event concluded, streets were cleaned up and broken windows repaired, City of Huntington Beach City Council listened for several hours at a public meeting to the complaints and concerns of residents. The majority were in favor of scaling back the annual US Open of Surfing event, and preferred NO music concerts on the beach, NO added sports arenas, and a return to focus on surfing. At special events meetings with the US Open marketing/management firm’s James Leitz an agreement was reached to present an event in 2014 that would remove concerts, remove liquor service in some private areas, and downsize the entire village concept.
The US Open Facebook page now has individuals logging in to see when the concerts will be (there won’t be any) and when they read that they are gone, several have recommended contacting city council members to complain. At this late date it is too late to change what is now being planned, so their efforts probably will not succeed.
The free concerts on the beach took place over three or four days, usually in the afternoons. They attracted thousands of attendees, many who were not interested in surfing but came to hear free music at in incredible outdoor venue. Professional surfers had mixed opinions about the circus atmosphere the concerts and other sports created–some didn’t mind, and others were displeased. Some actually said they did not like competing in Huntington Beach because of the event’s configuration.
Updates are posted on usopenofsurfing.com and their link to FB, though there’s not much news about the event just yet.