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Promoter of West Beach Music Festival Files for Bankruptcy

Twiin Productions directs blame at the city, citing unfair demands and bureaucratic obstacles

Twiin Productions, promoter of Santa Barbara’s annual West Beach Music & Arts Festival, announced Friday that it has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will shut down its operation.

In a news release sent out late Friday afternoon, the company said the obstacles it faced from the city of Santa Barbara in promoting September’s fourth annual beach concert were too much to overcome.

“The company was faced with unprecedented and inconsistent governmental and bureaucratic obstacles created by the city of Santa Barbara that could not be overcome in promoting the fourth annual West Beach Festival this past September,” Twiin Productions said in its news release. “Coming off of a spectacular 2009 festival that had tens of thousands of attendees, and produced much-needed tax dollars, the city of Santa Barbara notified Twiin Productions that the 2010 festival would not be permitted. No valid reason was ever given for this disparate treatment.

“Of course, this decision was overturned, allowing the festival its permit. The city of Santa Barbara subsequently declared the issuance of that permit would be contingent on new, conflicting, financially impossible and unsupported demands, causing the end of the process to be a perpetually moving target. By severely restricting the time for compliance, and increasing costs associated with actually releasing that permit, the business could not find financial success.”

In May, the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Commission considered an appeal filed by brothers Jeremy and Joshua Pemberton of the Parks & Recreation Department’s denial of a special permit for the 2010 festival.

In its denial for a permit, the Parks & Recreation Department cited its need to study amplified sound for large-scale events.

But the Parks and Recreation Commission voted 3-2 to let the three-stage festival go forward, but with the caveat that Twiin Productions cooperate in addressing concerns about security, sound levels and unruly behavior by attendees both inside and outside the event barriers.

Then, in late June, the council voted unanimously to uphold an appeal of the commission’s May approval of the company’s permit application.

Tony Romasanta, owner of the Harbor View Inn, 28 W. Cabrillo Blvd., across the street from West Beach, and neighborhood resident Hilary Kleger had challenged the permit.

Council members urged the Pembertons to submit a new application for a different location.

In the end, the festival moved a few hundred yards east to Chase Palm Park, capping attendance at 8,500 per day (compared with 13,000), and was cut to two days from three.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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