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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 1:06 pm | A Few Clouds 57º


Promoters of West Beach Music Festival Pursuing New Location

Twiin Productions is working toward a solution with Santa Barbara officials, but it hasn't ruled out moving the event to a different city entirely

Although the Santa Barbara City Council last week approved a Park and Recreation Commission appeal to cut the West Beach Music & Arts Festival out of the spot it has occupied for the past three years, Twiin Productions — the company that organizes the three-day beach concert — is working to hold the 2010 event at a different oceanfront location.

The City Council had appeared encouraging at last week’s hearing, but with the caveat that Twiin founders and twin brothers Josh and Jeremy Pemberton have quite a few challenges to overcome before the event can occur in a new location.

Main concerns raised by the Park and Recreation Commission in its appeal — spearheaded by Harbor View Inn owner Tony Romasanta and West Beach resident Hilary Kleger — centered on noise, the number of people and event security’s reportedly lax attention to underage drinking last year.

The Pembertons promised to do a better job at this year’s festival, but it was decided that if the event does occur in Santa Barbara in September, the Chase Palm Park soccer field — a slightly smaller venue east of Stearns Wharf — might be a better location.

The Pembertons appear determined to make the 2010 West Beach Music & Arts Festival a go, and have been busy this week meeting with city officials, as well as Romasanta and some of the West Beach stakeholders who had taken issue with the festival’s former location.

“We haven’t submitted our final application, but once we do that, it’s up to the city to give the OK,” Josh Pemberton told Noozhawk after meeting with City Administrator Jim Armstrong on Thursday afternoon. “The meeting (with Armstong and his staff) went well. We just went down there and laid out all of our ideas and worked with them.”

In addition to agreeing to lower the number of people allowed into the festival each day from the 8,500 approved by the Park and Recreation Commission this spring, Pemberton said Twiin also plans to shut down the stage a bit earlier each night to avoid disturbing neighbors.

“We’re reducing the scale and hours because we want this to be an event we can do every year,” he said, adding that Twiin has had to cut its talent budget to accommodate the changes. Still, the brothers expressed optimism regarding this year’s potential band lineup, which has not yet been announced.

“We’re excited,” Josh Pemberton said. “Hopefully, we can get this application processed and have a strong event.”

Twiin appears to be playing it safe, though, and the brothers have applications pending in a handful of other Southern California beach cities. Among a number of issues that still need to be addressed in moving the concert to Chase Palm Park is its potential impact on the weekly assembly of arts and crafts vendors on the sidewalk along Cabrillo Boulevard.

“We’re going down there Sunday and again on Tuesday to meet individually with people from the Arts and Crafts Show so that we can come up with something that works,” said Josh Pemberton, adding that he and his brother are grateful to Romasanta, who perhaps had been Twiin’s most vocal detractor, for being a big part of creating what has become a potential solution to their problem. “He wasn’t just trying to shut us down — he wanted to find something that works, and we appreciate it.”

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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