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"They are good for 2500 to 3000 tickets." That's how one local promoter described Switchfoot's local box office draw at an all-age venue. But that estimation considers paying customers. How many fans would turn out to see Switchfoot if they played a free concert on the beach?

Since blink-182 disbanded, multiplatinum-selling Switchfoot has become San Diego's most successful locally based band. As a way to say thanks to its local fans, Switchfoot is presenting its own free concert and surf contest called the Switchfoot Bro-Am, Saturday, June 3. A stage will be erected on the sand at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The band is absorbing all production costs, including staging and security.

Kip Locke grew up surfing with Switchfoot founders Jon and Tim Foreman and Chad Butler. He was asked to oversee the June 3 event. He said the City of Encinitas has been told to expect 3000 to 4000 people at the event.

Pro surfer Rob Machado said Switchfoot's appearance at his tenth annual Surf Classic and Beach Fair in Cardiff last year drew such a huge crowd that it had a part in getting officials to pull the plug on his annual event.

"We are working out traffic control and security right now," said Locke. "They played at the Santa Monica pier several months ago, and they drew about 3500. Luckily they had a real nice crowd with no problems."

Locke said a corresponding surf contest and an auction/dinner connected with the concert will benefit Casa de Amparo, a North County charity that helps abandoned youth.

At present, the June 3 appearance is Switchfoot's only scheduled local appearance for 2006. Locke said he did not know if Switchfoot would appear again locally this year.

Tristan Prettyman, Tom Curren, This Holiday Life, and Years Around the Sun perform from noon to 4 p.m., followed by a one-hour set by Switchfoot. Moonlight Beach is at the west end of Encinitas Boulevard.

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