One brewery owner laments that the City of Vista’s music scene is stuck in neutral even as its beer industry is exploding.
“We’ve been working with the city to do live music,” says Hans Haas, owner of Wavelength, one of some 12 Vista Breweries that have opened in the past five years.
Haas says Wavelength was ineligible to host live music until he was opened for a year.
That year has passed. “But the only permit that’s available limits the band to three members,” Haas says. “They told me the more people in the band, the rowdier it gets. That is patently false. That’s saying a five-piece jazz band is louder than a three-piece punk band. Of course, it all comes down to how loud the speaker system is.”
Haas is a sound tech by trade, having done sound for national acts at the Civic Theatre, Irvine Amphitheatre, Sports Arena, and Sleep Train.
“I come from the pro sound industry. I’ve done gigs all over the place. The City of Vista is the only place I’ve ever seen that has a citywide cap on how many people are allowed in the band. Cities typically regulate live music by decibels and whether or not law enforcement shows up.”
Haas hopes to go live this summer.
The other downtown Vista venues that have added live music in the past few years (Mother Earth, Art Beat, Lush Coffee) also have the three-person limitation. Breweries with music in Vista’s Industrial Park (Aztec, Booze Brothers, Barrel Harbor) can have up to four band members, says Haas. “It seems fair that they make it the same across the city,” says Haas.
Meanwhile, a singer/songwriter from Madison, Wisconsin, known as Banjo Kyle says Vista venues have welcomed him with open arms.
1213 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Vista
“We moved out here two years ago to get away from the cold,” says Kyle Miller who came out West with a duo called Star Bandits. He recently went solo.
Appearances at the Aztec Brewery’s open mic helped him get a foothold.
“The employees liked us.... We ended up getting paid gigs. We sold a lot of CDs.”
Banjo Kyle appears Friday at Bear Roots in Vista and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Julian Station.