by Bill Brand
When I think of the BeachLife festival, I think back to a moment a few years ago. A beautiful Sunday night, the sun setting over King Harbor, and Willie Nelson is singing “Always On My Mind.” It just made you feel at home. Everybody was just able to take a big giant exhale.
We needed that. And that’s exactly what BeachLIfe brought to the South Bay, not just Redondo Beach. A big giant exhale.
I’ve been coming to the Redondo Beach waterfront since I arrived here from Texas with my family in 1966 as an eight year old kid. I remember riding down Harbor Drive that first time in my family’s 1960 Chrysler New Yorker station wagon and hanging my head out the window going, “We are going to live here?” We stayed two weeks at the Portofino Inn and I went to the Seaside Lagoon every single day. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I still feel that way.
The Redondo Beach waterfront is for creative entertainment like this. BeachLife is just a fun time. It’s always sold out, and for a reason. It’s because people are hungry for for good music and social gatherings that are safe and fun. And it's something that's never happened before. I’ve been here since the 60s and I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere in the South Bay. We have over 50 bands and the opportunity to hear music from all over the world, live! That’s why it sells out every time. I hear from people who are sorry they didn’t get tickets, even while the festival is still going on, or after it’s over. There is nothing like the three days of BeachLife.
So let’s give thanks to Allen Sanford and his talented partners and amazing team for allowing us to once again welcome an an epic three days of celebration of the “BeachLife,” this time with a little bit of “Ranch” thrown in. But I don’t think this is about country music so much – we have bands like the Lumineers and Wilco, after all – as it is the southern California beach vibe: amazing music, dancing, arts and culture, environmental and social activism, the beach, all kinds of food and drink, places to play and places to “chill,” best of all, and so many interesting people to meet. A visit to where the land meets the sea recharges our mental and emotional batteries and connects us as humans to the wonders of the sea and the beauty of all the “critters” we share this planet with. In other words, it’s good for the soul.
There's a lot of negativity out there in the world right now, especially in the economic news. It's always refreshing to just go to a local event and forget it all for a few days and take in some great music. It’s time to relax and enjoy what we have here – it’s missed a lot, because we are so busy with out lives, and we often forget we live right on the Pacific Ocean. People come down and put their feet in the sand at Seaside Lagoon and I always hear, “Why don’t we come here more often?” We are lucky to be here and yet sometimes we just take it for granted.
Welcome another great weekend of people getting together to hear music, enjoying their lives, enjoying each other, and enjoying the Redondo Beach waterfront. Welcome to BeachLife!
Bill Brand is the Mayor of Redondo Beach