SANTA MONICA—The Twilight Concert Series, a free summer concert on the Santa Monica Pier, has been considered a security burden by Santa Monica Arts Commissioner Phil Brock.
Brock published an opinion piece in the Santa Monica Mirror, where he describes his opinion on the decades-long running Twilight Concert Series. He wrote, “Our Pier is a success by all measures. Unfortunately, the Twilight Dance Concerts are now a security burden to our city. They must be canceled and reimagined. Above all let’s remember that while we share our Pier with the world it must retain its local flavor.”
Despite the push back, the Santa Monica Arts Commission that Brock oversees advises the city council, but does not run the concert series. The non-profit Pier Corporation, which plans events at the Pier, does not have a problem with the Twilight Series. The corporation’s executive director Jay Farrand said in response, “There is no threat to this 32-year community tradition that I see. Every year we work with the city to smooth out logistics and keep costs under control.”
The city has prepared to have 30,000 people in attendance for the concert series and has increased the cost of spending on security to match the increasing crowd numbers, going as high as $950,000 for police and firefighters last year. In 2014, to keep the concert series from becoming too much of a regional draw, the Santa Monica City Council approved changes that included less famous artists to perform, removing giant viewing screens to eliminate spectators from watching from the beach, and providing more police and firefighters to cut down on illegal activity.
Brock, a former Recreation and Parks Commissioner for the city of Santa Monica and two-time council candidate, continued to write in his column about other plans to improving the Pier on behalf of a group called the Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow. The 2017 “wish list” included protecting local neighborhoods and renovating Santa Monica College, among many other changes.