The Return of the Switchfoot Bro-Am

The annual Switchfoot Bro-Am hits Moonlight Beach for its 12th straight year

San Diego, have we really been bro-ing out for 12 years?

While some would put that count considerably higher, if we’re strictly going by the number of years Switchfoot has been throwing their annual Bro-Am festival, it’s spot on.

Indeed, on July 9, the Grammy-winning group presents the 12th incarnation of their beloved community celebration and charity event at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. Has it really been more than a decade that we’ve been soakin’ up the sun, takin’ on the surf, donating to some excellent causes, and watchin’ some killer bands with those hometown Switchfoot boys? Yup.

It seems like only yesterday the alt-rock band burst on the worldwide scene with their now-iconic radio hits “I Dare You to Move” and “Meant to Live” -- but not only have they been delivering Bro-Am to the masses for 12 straight years, 2016’s shindig coincides with the release of the group’s upcoming 10th studio album, “Where the Light Shines Through,” on July 8. The record’s new lead single, “Float,” has been getting constant radio airplay, and it’s no wonder -- it bustles with a vibrant electro-pop energy that, while straying from the band’s alternative rock roots, still sounds unmistakably like Switchfoot. And it couldn’t be more infectious if it tried.

The Switchfoot Bro-Am, which has raised over $1 million dollars for charity over the last 10 years, routinely draws more than 15,000 people to Moonlight Beach each year, and since it’s always free -- and there’s always rad stuff lined up for it -- that number’s sure to grow. This year, charities that stand to benefit from the event include the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Feeding America San Diego, A Step Beyond, StandUp for Kids, SIMA HF and the Rob Machado Foundation. The concert, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include performances by Switchfoot (naturally), American Authors (which we interviewed a while back), Parachute, Josh Garrels, Brynn Elliott, and a local artist yet to be announced.

According to a press release: “Surf events will include the A More ‘Bro’ Than Pro Team Surf Contest Rob Machado Bro Junior Surf Contest for kids age 16 and under, Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Program presented by CAF Expression Session, and Surf Joust Expression Session.” Bro-Am even includes a special charity fundraiser the day before, on July 8, hosted by NBA legend Bill Walton, that gathers “philanthropists and friends for local restaurant tastings, signature cocktails, silent/live auctions and live performances.” For more information, please visit

Twelve years is a long time, and it’s definitely nothing to shake a stick at. Simply put, it’s refreshing to see a band give back so much to their hometown each and every year. And according to their frontman, Jon Foreman, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The Switchfoot Bro-Am began in 2005 as an implausible dream: a dream that three of our favorite things (surfing, music, and the local community) could collide for a day in a way that gives back to the town that has given us so much. To see our hometown come together and help deserving kids is an incredible experience.”

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