“We want real variety in our line up,” said Martha Phillips, former president of the event’s board of directors and one of the event’s bookers. She has been involved since 2006 and has seen Point Loma Summer Concerts turn into one of the city’s top summer happenings. “Our audiences span a wide range of ages, from babies to senior citizens, so we look for bands that have wide appeal,” she said.
Performers set to take part this year include; Elton – The Early Years Band (July 20), Young Guns (July 27), The Full Strength Funk Band (Aug. 3), The Mighty Untouchables (Aug. 10) and Who’s Bad – A Michael Jackson Tribute (Aug. 17).
“This year in particular, I feel we have a really nice mix, from country with Young Guns, to soul and R&B with Full Strength, who come complete with a horn section,” Phillips remarked. Pressed for a favorite, she cites Who’s Bad. “They have a great sound and show, they are simply amazing,” she said.
To keep things varied, Phillips notes, they have a few rules regarding their booking policy. “We try to have just two tributes band each year,” Phillips explained. “We also try to book two new groups each year, while bands are limited to playing two years in a row,” she said. “Except for the Mighty Untouchables this year, as they are a big crowd favorite.”
Phillips takes a hands-on approach when it comes to selecting bands and visits various venues to see who might be a good fit for the series. “We have to see them live,” she said. “Watching a YouTube video or what have you just won’t cut it. We want to see how they interact with a crowd, how the performance is in the moment.”
The event offers free parking, with free shuttle service, 5 to 8:30 p.m., from the parking lot of All Souls' Episcopal Church (1475 Catalina Blvd). Concertgoers will also have the opportunity to take part in a raffle, sponsored this year by Moment Bicycles.
“Each week, we raffle off three prizes with winners drawn at intermission. All proceeds go to music education in Point Loma,” Phillips noted. “All school age levels, including Correia Middle School and Point Loma High School, benefit from what we bring in from the raffle.”
Meanwhile, the Junior Stage showcases the area’s young talent. “We hold auditions in the spring,” Phillips said. “This year, we had a great turn out with 18 bands trying out for the five spots available.” On hand this year will be: Chihuahua (July 20), Fish Out of Water & Syrens (July 27), The Madhatters (Aug. 3), The Wild Californians (Aug. 10) and Inblue (Aug. 17). “All the bands either live in the area or attend school here,” she said.
Food fans won’t feel left out either with different selections on offer each concert, with the Peninsula Lions Club selling beverages to support their activities.
“I love that [the concerts] bring Point Loma families together with their neighbors,” Phillips said.
“It also brings in people to the neighborhood, from other parts of San Diego, but also from out of town. Some hotels shuttle guests to and from the concerts. It’s a great day of fun in the sun and it’s free,” she mused. “It really shows off the neighborhood in a good light.”
Point Loma Summer Concert Series: Fridays, July 20 to Aug. 17 at Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd., between Pt. Loma Avenue and Talbot/Hill streets. 5:30 p.m. All ages. Free. plconcerts.org.