After getting kicked off the stage at the Imperial Beach Farmers Market on Friday, August 4th, a San Diego music group's humorous video about the incident is going viral.
5 stages of getting a show cancelled
By Catie + Kevin
"We were devastated," said Catie Ryan of the acoustic indie band Catie + Kevin. The duo set up their equipment for almost two hours and were about to start when they got the boot.
Ryan said the band then decided "to make a little improvisational video about 'The 5 Stages of Getting a Show Cancelled', a spin-off of The 5 Stages of Grief."
The video has racked up over 7300 views so far, a lot for the new band made up of siblings. "We're not Justin Bieber viral but it feels viral from our perspective," said Ryan.
Ryan said everything seemed fine at Pier Plaza until they were told by Kimberly Paris, the market manager for IB Beautiful, to stop the concert.
"We were so stoked to be back at IB and loaded our two cars full of JBL speakers, subwoofers, PA system, carpets, and instruments," said Ryan via email.
"Excitement broke out as we played a sneak peak of our original song 'Tally Ho!' to finalize the sound check. We were just about to begin our show, that took a couple weeks to prepare for, when Kim [Paris] broke the upsetting news to us: The Show Was Cancelled!"
According to Ryan, "She [Paris] said that the city manager was there and pulled the metaphorical plug on us. I asked for a reason and she said that the city was experiencing 'amplification problems'. I was surprised because we barely played a song but I offered to turn down the volume."
"The crowd on the grassy lawn booed the decision and demanded us to play," Ryan said. "We didn't want to cause any trouble with the City Manager and had to decline."
"Amplification problems" means noise complaints from "too many back to back events with amplified sound," according to Paris, adding that permits were not an issue.
"The neighboring community is complaining that there is too much amplified sound going on at the beach," said Paris, adding that the band had to stop so abruptly "because when they were doing the sound check, the city started receiving, immediately, the complaints."
Paris declined to comment on how the complaints were communicated to her or whether the city manager was involved, referring the question to the city manager's office.
City manager Andy Hall did not comment on those details, but said, "the city is carefully reviewing the amplification policies to identify a balance between activities and events, and the impact amplified sound has on surrounding residences and businesses."
Paris said, "We need to work something out for both the residential community and for people to enjoy the park and beach area. Maybe we need a stage that faces out toward the ocean. We'll work it out." She added that Catie + Kevin would be welcome in the future.
The band was mystified about the cancellation, noting they had played at the Farmers Market last December. "We quickly fell in love with the kindness, down-to-earth attitude, and appreciation of music that the community fostered," Ryan said.
New residents in nearby high-end condos could be a factor.
"We read loads of rumors for the reason behind the cancellation," Ryan said. "One was that the owner of the new condos across the street called in the noise complaint because he doesn't like music on 'his' beach.
Reaction to the video ranged from bemused to angry.
"Thank you for being good sports about it," said local Tawnya LaFave on social media. "I'm sorry for not only you guys, but those of us who didn't get to hear you play."
"This is whaaaack," Brandon Elliott wrote. "I had planned to take my girlfriend down to see you guys. Fun video, though!"
"Someone has no class and pulled this lame move," said Renato Pena Velis. "Either the organizers or community need to apologize and offer you double for what happened."
The band said they would get paid and responded, "We don't hold any grudges whatsoever and we'd love to come back and perform for you all."
This isn't the first concert to be cancelled in Imperial Beach this summer. In early June a concert at Imperial Beach's Border Field State Park was banned for political reasons by the Border Patrol.