San Diego just lost another all-ages music venue.
Sergeant Glenn Giannantonio of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department says that an April 18 show at the Jumping Turtle in San Marcos got out of control and that the club “has been a drain on law enforcement for the past two years.” Giannantonio contacted the City of San Marcos with recommendations regarding the venue’s entertainment permit, and last week San Marcos city clerk Susie Vasquez announced, “Whenever they have entertainment, it will be 21-and-up only.” The 250-capacity restaurant/bar hosts local and nationally touring bands. The new entertainment permit took effect May 1.
National bands were introduced to the Jumping Turtle by promoter Sulo King, who now does the booking at Brick by Brick in Bay Park. He says that the Turtle was doing good business, but mixing all-ages fans with booze was a “ticking time bomb. I don’t know how they got away with it in the first place.”
North County band Wanted Dead was playing April 18 when the music was cut off by the sheriff’s department. Lead singer Skillet says he was not happy with the way the barroom blitz was handled.
“Sometimes with all-age shows things go wrong. There is a protocol. You make an announcement that the show is over and you have ten minutes to leave.... The way it happened at the Jumping Turtle was like a raid. The cops came in and just started throwing kids around.... It was frustrating for me because we paid for double security.”
Skillet explains that his band paid the Jumping Turtle $700 for extra security, which was mandated by the bar. He says that security was not doing its job. “I saw some people who were thrown out who ended up coming back in.... The [sheriff’s deputies] said they came because the show was getting violent, but in fact they were the ones who came in like gangbusters.”
Requests for comments from Jumping Turtle owner Matt Hall and talent buyer Joe Troutman were not returned.