Imperial Beach's inaugural Lower Left Fest -- a free event scheduled for Sunday, July 15 and featuring South Bay nu-metal heroes P.O.D. as its headliner -- will not be happening after all. At least for now.
After an impromptu promise made by the band at a surprise Imperial Beach Switchfoot concert in 2016, P.O.D. and IB Mayor Serge Dedina formally announced in October 2017 that the free, family-friendly festival for the South Bay community was officially a go for July 15, 2018.
Lower Left Fest was to feature two beach stages, lowriders, skateboarding, surfing, a VIP area and plenty of live music -- of course, headlined by the multi-Grammy-nominated band (whose members famously grew up in IB, or "Southtown" as they call it).
However, according to a July 6 Instagram post by band guitarist Marcos Curiel, P.O.D. will not be performing.
"Free P.O.D. show in 'Imperial Beach' (San Diego) July 15th is not happening," the post read.
Curiel elaborated in the photo's caption: "Sorry guys. Couldn't finalize the details with the city of #imperialbeach Sand Castles didn't want to share the weekend with our show. Its all good. We love #sandiego at some point we will work something cool out. Sorry for any inconvenience. We love you all. From the road. #tourlife - Marcos C."
Curiel's comment of "Sand Castles didn't want to share the weekend with our show" presumably refers to the Sun & Sea Festival scheduled at the Portwood Pier Plaza in IB for Saturday, July 14 (and is still happening). Drama between fests? Say it ain't so.
A P.O.D. representative replied on Twitter in response to SoundDiego's post on the cancellation:
"It was more like the sand castles organizers didn’t want to share the weekend with our event. They (IB) wanted us to do our thing in October instead. So we gracefully bowed out. All is not lost. You never know what the future holds. We love you San Diego:)"
SoundDiego has reached out for comment from Mayor Dedina, who told us an official statement is being prepared. The Lower Left Fest is not listed on the city's official events calendar.
Former 91x and 949FM radio host Michael Halloran -- who broached the festival idea to the band in the first place and has been actively involved with its planning -- told SoundDiego that the festival will still go forward, albeit on a different date and with different bands (both to be announced soon).
Late on Friday afternoon, Oceanside officials offered up their take on events: "Due to scheduling conflicts, a free concert by the popular band P.O.D.originally scheduled for the evening of July 15th near the Imperial Beach Pier has been postponed indefinitely. Representatives of P.O.D. have indicated they are interested in having a concert in the town many band members consider home, when the schedule allows. The City of Imperial Beach will provide additional details as they become available."
"We are still excited about a future event and thank P.O.D. for being excellent ambassadors for IB and the entire South Bay," Mayor Dedina told SoundDiego via email.
SoundDiego has contacted the Sun & Sea Festival as well and is awaiting an official comment.