Twilight on the Pier gets a Makeover
The Twilight Summer Concert Series are back with a whole new look, and a new name to match: Twilight on the Pier. The improved series is taking place on Wednesday evenings for the next three weeks. Originally commenced back in 1984, concerts originally took place during the summer in Santa Monica. Recent improvements, however, have pushed the annual series to the Fall season, in an effort to make the event safer for everyone attending, as last year's massive turn out raised a few safety concerns.
About 25-35 thousand people attended the opening headliner, Khalid, in 2017. The crowds weren’t only causing safety concerns, but also had an impact on businesses located on the pier. Once the capacity was met, they could no longer allow the public on the pier, limiting business from certain pier-side establishments. Rather than bringing in business with large congregations of people, businesses were hurt due to limited space.
The Santa Monica board deliberated whether to cancel the entire event itself or postponing it for a year or two. According to Lieutenant Saul Rodriguez from the Santa Monica Police Department, there was a discussion about possibly adding more security on site that could have caused an increase in their regional budget. Certain elements like tourism during the summer, the better weather, and students being out of classes were all significant factors contribiting the over-saturation of the crowds.
Due to high public encouragement, the series was brought back with certain new regulations, like mandatory bag checks that are now enacted upon entrance. The addition of two new stages: The West End stage and The Pacific Park stage, has brought a whole new cultural aspect focusing on diversity. The trapeze school has also become a part of the opening the show on the pier.
According to Executive Director of the Santa Monica Pier Corporation, Nejin Singh, the required bag checks were influenced by the era we live in, where mass shootings at public events have become a common occurrence. Rather than their three-month long series, this season is limited to six shows now occurring on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays. The corporation wanted to establish this new series with more of a “Art-Walk Festival” feel .This now allows them to manage and dissipate the crowds. According Lieutenant Rodriguez, this year has become more manageable, and has a third of the amount attending in comparison to last year.
The new updates also give small establishments the ability to offer specials during the concerts. Twilight on the Pier begins each week at 6:30 p.m. and entry is free. There are many interactive activities and specials for those who wish to check it out. Their final show will take place on Sunday, October 7th, at the same time as their weekly scheduled concerts. This concert series is great for anyone looking to wind down after classes, go down to the beach, and enjoy some great music and food.