Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 6:48 am | Overcast 64º


Founder of Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Bowing Out

After 19 years, Sam Scranton is retiring to pursue other interests

Sam Scranton, longtime executive director and founder of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, has announced his resignation. After 19 years with the Bowl, he said he’s ready to pursue other interests.

Scranton first came to the Santa Barbara Bowl in 1979, when he was the general manager for one year. Even at that time, Scranton knew the Bowl was something special. The next year, he and a few other residents founded the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation to save and renovate the venue. The original foundation members rallied around Scranton’s vision of creating a world-class performing arts venue in Santa Barbara.

Scranton was hired again as the general manager in 1991, working for Santa Barbara County until the lease was signed in 1994, giving management of the venue to the foundation. Since then, the Bowl has done more than $23 million in renovations, including permanent public restrooms, updated artist amenities and the centerpiece of the American Classic Capital Campaign, The Pavilion.

“My proudest accomplishment has been the saving and renovation of the Bowl, creating the world-class venue that I knew was possible back in 1980,” Scranton said.

Although he is departing before the completion of the Master Plan, with only three major construction phases to go, he says he’s leaving the Bowl in good hands. Assistant General Manager Rick Boller will replace Scranton as executive director. Boller has worked with the Bowl since 1993.

Scranton said he’s looking forward to helping another worthy cause or mentoring rock-‘n’-rollers. It seems appropriate that the man who helped pull off the release of two legendary concert videos at the Bowl, Joni Mitchell and Bob Marley, would leave the year after Radiohead Web-streamed its live performance from the Bowl.

“Sam’s vision and perseverance have been major factors in transforming the Bowl from a quaint local facility to one of the finest concert venues on the planet,” said Paul Dore, president of the Board of Directors.

Moss Jacobs, vice president of booking for Nederlander Concerts, said: “Without Sam Scranton’s efforts, there would not be a Bowl as everyone now knows it. Because of him, it can accommodate the biggest and most desirable bands in the world. This once funky 1930s amphitheater is now a world-class venue that is known around the globe.”

— Eric Shiflett represents the Santa Barbara Bowl.

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