Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My City's a Sucker: Bayside

Today’s installment...

Rock shows at San Diego’s promising bayfront venue have been shut down after complaints about the noise.

The Port Commission, which owns the land at the Embaracadero Marina Park venue, sometimes just called Bayside, voted to ban hard rock performances there after people across the bay in Coronado said the noise was disrupting their peace and quiet. (You can see the Embarcadero at the top of the map just to the right of the downtown label.) The Port also put limits on the decibel level and set a 10 or 10:30 cutoff time for shows. The company that books the rock shows there says it will shift to bands with a softer sound.

Sure, there are plenty of other outdoor auditoriums and amphitheaters in the county. The sad part is that Viejas, which books Bayside, put together an impressive lineup last summer. Radiohead played two nights. Death Cab, Spoon and Mates of State filled a bill. Country fans got Martina McBride. Everyone in the classic rock set from Paul Simon to Santana to Huey Lewis played there. The plan seemed to be coming together.

Enough bands already skip San Diego to play two nights in L.A. (Bloc Party just announced they’re doing just that). Bayside seemed like a perfect way to raise our profile. There are multiple parking garages and a Trolley stop nearby. It’s right off of downtown’s shops and restaurants.

The other frustration is how broad and ambiguous the rules are. Nobody would call Radiohead “hard rock,” but they probably would be too loud to play there now. And REALLY nobody would call Death Cab hard rock, but if a band is right on the line, it’s doubt able Viejas is going to risk it, as the Port also approved fines for violations to the new rules.

So, cheers to San Diego, for further limiting a major piece of entertainment for that niche 14-to-50 age group.

If you want to e-mail the Port commissioners about this, click here.

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