The South Bay reaped significant financial rewards from the inaugural BeachLife Festival in Redondo Beach in May, according to a newly released report conducted by a Los Angeles-based consulting firm.
According to the report by Beacon Economics, BeachLife was responsible for about $6.6 million in total economic output in the South Bay, with nearly $5.6 million coming from Redondo Beach. The analysis included direct, indirect and induced impacts, which includes everything from food expenditures to hotel stays.
“We had an impact on the entire South Bay,” said BeachLife founder Allen Sanford. “It was very successful, more than I thought it was going to be from an economic stimulus point of view.”
In fact, the festival was such a success, Sanford announced the addition to the May 1-3 event next year, there will be a second BeachLife Festival in September or October of 2020 in the Redondo Beach Harbor.
According to Sanford, the total attendance of BeachLife, the three-day event headlined by Willie Nelson, Brian Wilson and Bob Weir, was 27,500. Sunday's attendance, featuring Nelson, was slightly higher attendance than Saturday, featuring Wilson.
According to the Beacon report, 39.3 percent of BeachLife attendees stayed in Redondo Beach hotels. "Other cities” hotels accounted for 38.4 percent of concert-goers. That was followed by Hermosa Beach with 10.8 percent, Manhattan Beach with 6.5 percent, Palos Verdes with 3.7 percent and El Segundo with 1.3 percent.
Sanford said he was surprised more people did not stay in Redondo Beach hotels. Part of why, he said, may have been attendees did not know where to stay.
“Certain people have better digital advertising than others,” Sanford said. “So when they Goggled BeachLife and the ads came up, the Redondo Beach hotels weren’t serving up, so … we're putting out targeted ads. It's a good example of how you can take quantifiable data and do something with it.”
The Beacon report found the city of Redondo Beach received $86,600 in tax revenue and another $49,500 in transient occupancy taxes. The South Bay received $106,500 in tax revenue throughout the region and $75,000 in TOT.
BeachLife also paid directly to the city of Redondo Beach with $30,000 in licensing fees and $50,000 in municipal services.
“It's important to note is that the city is not paying for municipal services, the city is not paying out of pocket,” Sanford said. “We’re licensing the land from them; we’re paying for the license and fire (safety)."
On average, local attendees spent $111 per day. Visiting attendees spent $186, according to the report. The largest category of spending for locals was food and beverages at $59 a day at the event. The largest expenditures for visitors was accommodations at $58 per day.
At $1.2 million, event food and beverage purchases was the largest spending category.
Sanford said BeachLife employed hundreds over the three-day weekend, but the study examined full-time equivalency when they evaluated job numbers.
According to the study, BeachLife supported 73 jobs throughout the South Bay and 63 in Redondo Beach. BeachLife was also responsible for generating $2.7 million in employee compensation in Redondo Beach and more than $3 million total in the South Bay.
Redondo Beach City Manager Joe Hoefgen said the BeachLife Festival was "very well received" by Redondo Beach residents and the business community.
"By all measures, the first year of this three-day event was quite successful," Hoefgen said. "Allen Sanford and his team did a masterful job and we look forward to the continued success of the BeachLife Festival."
Beacon Economics report
Beacon Economics, the company that produced the report on BeachLife, conducts economic impact studies for music festivals.
Beacon reached out to Sanford, according to Sherif Hanna, a managing partner, who added the firm has done research for the 2028 Olympics bid for Los Angeles, the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear power plant; and Delta Air Lines' impact of its new terminal at LAX.
“Whenever we find new music festivals that are coming out, we reach out in hopes of adding them to our portfolio,” Hanna said.
Hanna said their goal with their studies is to “tell the story of what these shocks mean to the community.”
“It's something that's coming into a community that's new and is going to cause some level of disruption,” Hanna said.
“Disruption isn't always a bad thing, it actually comes with a lot of positives as well, job creations... on the social side, you're helping bring people into a community... where they can spend their dollars.”
With BeachLife, Hanna said they focused on two major aspects: how much money was coming into the community, from what the festival producers spent to what the attendees were spending, as well as surveying attendees online to help build spectator profiles.
Based on their report, Hanna said “I think this one in particular is going to have some legs to it.”
City Council meeting
Sanford and representatives from Beacon Economics are expected to discuss the report at the Nov. 5 Redondo Beach City Council meeting.
Sanford said tickets are already on sale for 2020 and selling well even though no performers have been announced.
“Everybody is excited about 2020…. people are now believing in what we’re doing,” Sanford said.