Since 1996, Switchfoot have become the Tony Gwynn of the San Diego music scene.
The 13th annual Switchfoot Bro-Am at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas on June 24 is the perfect example as to why Switchfoot are the most generous band in town.
Surf contests, surf lessons and a concert featuring Switchfoot, Lifehouse and Jamtown -- all free and all to raise awareness and funds for local youth foundations.
I spoke with drummer Chad Butler over the phone just after the band’s tour in Europe. Butler’s tone was empathetic and enthusiastic for the music scene and the San Diego community.
“Saturday is the big celebration. The music festival, the surf contest,” said Butler, ”all the organizations come down and they bring the kids and they get surf lessons. They get to be a part of the concert up close.”
Surf competitions will run 7 a.m.-3 p.m., and live music runs 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
“Three of us and our buddy Rob Machado -- we surf on a team together. It’s a four-man team in the Teams Event. We also have this incredible opportunity this year. The Challenged Athletes Foundation is one of our beneficiaries that we support locally, and they’re going to be having a kids surf contest. They’re at the beach, and it’s going to be their first time they’ve done that as part of Bro-Am. So, I’m really excited to see these incredible kids overcoming physical challenges and enjoying the ocean and being a part of the surf contest.”
San Diego is known for its year-long 70-degree vacation weather; however, Butler explains how Bro-Am shows that San Diego isn’t all beaches and dreams.
“Seeing the kids experience something for the first time ... Often these kids didn’t have the same opportunities that I had growing up. I got to go to the beach a lot and surf, play music -- I had an incredible experience growing up in San Diego, but a lot of these kids have been dealt a really tough hand in life. Some of them homeless, some of them come from family situations that are really difficult and they get to come experience life in a whole new way. They get a chance to learn how to surf and just be a part of this fun celebration.”
Musician, people-pleaser, lover, fighter and writer Matthew Craig Burke has been spewing musical words of wisdom since never. He lives off of peanut butter sandwiches, beer and Beck Hansen. Follow his updates on Facebook or contact him directly.