The City Arts Commission is gearing up for another packed summer schedule of music, dance, and visual art. At last Thursday’s Arts commission meeting, commissioners ironed out various details, including the evolving lineup of events, featured artists and artwork, as well as such issues as tailgating in the parking structure.
Dates for the highly anticipated Concerts on the Green series have not been solidified, but two of the acts have been signed. Tijuana Dogs and Flashback Heart Attack are both confirmed to perform on the Civic Center Green this summer. The bands, both of which are based Orange County, will perform at the Civic Center complex at 1000 Avocado Ave. A third group is likely to be named soon.
Additionally, the Arts Commission hopes to nail down a date for the Pacific Symphony to return again this year, thanks to a two-year title sponsorship gift of $10,000 from City National Bank. The symphony played last August for what was the concert series’ most well-attended event.
Orange County-based Backhausdance will also bring a performance to the Civic Center this year.
The city of Newport Beach has been offering free summer concerts since the 1980s, City Arts Commission Chairperson Lynn Selich said on radio station 89.3 KPCC. The performances were originally held all over the city in small venues, until the Civic Center opened in 2013. Its “green” is a spacious lawn with parking available in both the library lot and a parking structure.
Once a popular destination for pre-concert tailgaters, the parking structure’s roof level will be off-limits during the coming concert season. At the final show of the 2016 concert series, the roof level was closed and blocked by police before a performance by The Springsteen Experience in September.
The Newport Beach Police Department confirmed that no tailgating will be permitted in the parking structure, stating that it is not only dangerous, but against municipal code. Only one arrest was made last year during the series, when a woman was arrested for public intoxication and public nudity after flashing and inciting the crowd from the third floor of the parking structure.
On the evening of the concerts, people are welcome to bring their own food. Picnicking is welcomed outside of the structure, although there is one big restriction.
“We’d like to remind folk that no alcoholic beverages are allowed,” Jennifer Manzella of the Newport Beach Police Department wrote in an email.
While local tribute bands bring in a sizable number of people, the commission expressed a desire to bring more renown acts to the concert series. They’ll propose the issue, and the additional funding needed, when they make a presentation to City Council at the March 28 Study Session.
The arts commission also revealed four new artists to be featured in the revolving Art in Public Spaces Exhibit.
The varied works of Jane Kelley, Diana Blaisure, Diana Ghoukassian, and Gianne de Genevraye will be on display in the Lobby Gallery of the Central Library this year. Dates are to be determined.