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La Jolla Concerts by the Sea regrets to announce that they will cease operations at the end of this season of free summer Concerts due to increased requirements imposed by the City and County and a lack of community support. Since 1984, Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove has been filled with the sounds of live music on Sunday afternoons in the summer, provided by La Jolla Concerts by the Sea, a California not-for-profit corporation. Over the course of these 33 years, the City of San Diego has eliminated the services they once provided to aid in the presentation of these Concerts and increased fees charged as well as requirements for facilities to be provided by the organizers.
Although the costs and labor necessary to produce these Concerts continue to increase, the community support has not increased accordingly, causing the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation to operate at a loss for the past few years. Only seven of the eight Concerts in this year’s series had sponsors, and additional donations in recent years have been minimal. Offers of assistance from the community, whether in the way of direct financial support or volunteer assistance with fundraising or the work of producing the Concerts have not been forthcoming. At this time, there are also capital expenditures to repair and/or replace aging equipment that would be needed to continue this concert series for the next decades, but that doesn’t seem wise in the face of the increasingly uphill battle to meet our costs for the long term.
The Board of Directors has decided to cease operations after the 2016 season and will not move forward with plans for a 2017 season or beyond. The corporation will, however, maintain their remaining assets for one to two years with the hope that someone in the San Diego community would come forward with a long-term financing plan that could make resurrecting the Concerts a viable option.
Anyone with offers of assistance can contact the organization via email at email@example.com or may contact the President, Shirleymae Davis, directly at 858-459-4053 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Answers to questions you may have about this (seemingly inevitable) reality we currently face:
What are recent increases/changes from the City and County that have impacted the Concerts?
City fees basically tripled from last year to this year (and would increase 250% more if we increased our attendance significantly based on the current fee schedule).
There were agreements made with the City years ago that are no longer being honored because City personnel have changed. And we do feel that we are being asked to provide additional facilities to make up for the poor condition of the city facilities at the Cove.
SD County Health Department forced us to stop selling hot dogs four years ago and it took a few years for us to develop the concessions with our partner vendor to restore our net concessions revenue to what we made when we did all the food concessions ourselves.
What do you mean by a “long-term financing plan”?
One option would be a name-over sponsor commitment of 5-10 years, but we are certainly open to other proposals. Proposals could include operational changes that would reduce costs and/or increase revenue. Our main concern is to find a long term solution to make the Concerts thrive for another decade or two or three…
What other type of support are you looking for?
In addition to a long-term financing plan, we need manpower. We are looking for professionals with contacts in the community to help with our fundraising as well as volunteers to help with the work of putting on the concerts.