CBS Radio’s ‘Jack FM’ to launch 4th of July festival in Redondo Beach

Fourth of July festivities at the Seaside Lagoon will likely be extended to the third of July this year after the City Council agreed Tuesday to enter negotiations with CBS Radio to create a two-day festival.

The city, which has grappled with how to provide fireworks with minimal public subsidy, hopes that CBS’s “Jack FM” radio station can bolster this years’ event and then take over the 4th of July celebration next year.

“The goal is to create an event that can succeed both days and culminate in a fireworks show, so the expense to the city at the end of the day is zero,” said Chad Fitzsimmons, marketing director with CBS Radio.

The current operator, Peter Moffett of Community Spirit Fireworks, has indicated that this year will be his last after struggling to find sponsorships that would make the event pay for itself. The city last year reimbursed Moffett $18,000 and incurred another $12,000 in 4th of July related expenses.

Jack FM plans to feature the event in numerous radio spots and then broadcast live both days, culminating with a “soundtrack” that will enable people to hear the fireworks program music from afar. The July third festival will feature live bands and a beer garden, the proceeds out of which CBS will guarantee – at the Council’s urging – at least $3,000 towards the Redondo Beach Education Foundation.

Councilman Steve Aspel said his approval of the event was conditional on the contribution.

“CBS owns you? You can afford to guarantee at least $2,500, even if you lose your ass on the event,” Aspel said “…I think it’s kind of cool and I don’t mind having an event there every month, even though we’ll get push back from people in the Village condos – people bought condos in the Village thinking they bought a condo in Yosemite.”

The other bidder for the event, the Max Entertainment Group, proposed a beer festival with live music and possibly food trucks. The council chose CBS in part because its plan was to market the event to families. Max’s Steve Dimon, who along with local promoter Barry Bly has produced similar “beer festival” and New Years Eve events at the Crowne Plaza Hotel across the street, suggested the July 3 event should be more adult-oriented, given that only 20 percent of the South Bay’s demographics are families.

“This event has been promoted and marketed to families,” Dimon said. “We understand that. However, it hasn’t been successful.”

Councilman Pat Aust argued strongly against both bidders. He argued that it would overtax public safety employees who are already on overtime on the Fourth and would end up costing the city even more.

“I just don’t see what is in this for Redondo Beach,” Aust said. “[It’s] just another place to go drink and party at a special event. I don’t see that as a big plus….It’s going to cost us more to put this on than we make.”

Fitzsimmons said CBS would be able to bring in national sponsors though its packaging of other events, and he said that Jack FM would help Redondo market its “More to Sea” campaign via its radio spots.

“Yeah, you can see more drunks, and more drunk drivers,” Aust countered.

The council approved entering into negotiations with CBS in a 4-1 vote, with Aust opposing. Councilman Bill Brand, who added a requirement that the stage if possible face northwest, defended the festivities.

“It’s the Fourth of July and obviously we want to entertain residents and visitors and have a vibrant community,” Brand said. “That is fun. That is exactly what we are up here for.” ER

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Article source: http://www.easyreadernews.com/25410/cbs-radios-jack-fm-redondo-beach/

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