The concerts Saturday and Sunday will take place on the field, with the stage at second base. (Courtesy venue)
Beach Boys, Ziggy Marley on tap for Memorial Day weekend
The San Diego Padres are slowly getting back in the groove for hosting concerts at Petco Park.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the Beach Boys (Saturday) and Ziggy Marley (Sunday) are booked for socially distanced shows on the field at the ballpark.
The Beach Boys, with co-founder Mike Love, will be joined by special guests John Stamos and Mark McGrath. Ziggy Marley will perform a special tribute to this father, the late reggae legend Bob Marley.
The Padres partnered with CBF Productions, a Ventura, California, promoter, to book the shows.
Capacity for both events is about 6,000, which extends to VIP tables of four set up on the basepaths and the two dugouts, transformed into suites for a dozen people, said Jaclyn Lash, the team’s vice president of special events.
The stage is set up at second base facing home plate.
Ticket prices are $29 to $79 a person for pod seating in the stands.
The 42 VIP tables sell for $750 and the dugout suites cost $2,300. Traditional suites sell for $1,200 to $1,300.
Food and drink is an extra fee for all three premium options. Concourses and concession stands will be open for the concerts.
Both videoboards in left field and right field will be in operation for the concerts, supported by three smaller screens hanging from the stage, with full lighting and fireworks toward the end of the performances, Lash said.
As of this week, a check of Ticketmaster.com showed that tickets were still available for both shows.
The Padres have historically marketed Petco Park, with 42,445 seats, as a primary concert venue in the San Diego region, despite its quirky dimensions in the city’s downtown district.
Since the ballpark opened in 2004, the team has held on-field shows with full capacity and other concerts with smaller seating facing the Western Metals Building in the left-field corner. The landmark structure is incorporated into the stadium design.
Most recently, the Padres developed the Sycuan Stage behind the batter’s eye in center field, a 3-acre space that’s part of the Park in a Park area that was included in the original development of the venue. It opened in 2019 as part of a three-year deal between the team and Live Nation.
The pandemic stopped all concerts inside Petco Park along with every other venue across North America. The team put on some drive-in shows in 2020 in the parking lots apart from CBF Productions.
This year, as MLB facilities reopen with greater capacities, the Padres felt it was the right time to bring live music back inside the building starting with smaller capacity.
The seating configuration for the Beach Boys and Ziggy Marley is similar to the setup for baseball, which helped drive the decision to book the two events, Lash said.
“Since we’ve been doing baseball with limited capacity, we took a look at the stands and thought we could do a limited capacity concert on the field,” she said. “We want to bring live music back to San Diego.”
CBF Productions was happy to accommodate their request.
The 12-year-old firm produces a dozen music and lifestyle festivals such as the Boots & Brews Country Music Festival. Those events draw 10,000 to 25,000 in California and Arizona, said Vincenzo Giammanco, CBF Productions’ founder and CEO.
Over the past year, though, like so many others in the live music industry, the promoter shifted its business model to the drive-in concert concept.
As it turned out, those shows were a great success in 2020.
Taking advantage of the West Coast climate, CBF produced an impressive 146 “Concerts in Your Car” events with national acts such as Snoop Dogg, Bush, Sublime and Third Eye Blind at fairgrounds facilities in Ventura, Phoenix and Del Mar, which is part of the San Diego market.
“We generated more revenue than in years past,” Giammanco said. “We found a model that was safe. By doing that series, we were introduced to the team at Petco Park and they really liked what we were doing.”
He said, “When baseball came back, they had a social distance plan. We connected and were able to move out of the car and into the stadium. We’re an up-and-coming production company and are excited to take this step to the next level.”
Giammanco said the Petco Park shows came together quickly.
For Ziggy Marley, CBF Productions had a relationship with the artist after booking him for two drive-in concerts in Ventura. It was the first time he did the tribute to his father, Giammanco said. Two shows in one day sold out with 700 cars an event.
“Who’s not a fan of Bob Marley, and to see his blood replicate it, that’s as close as we’re going to get to that experience,” he said.
The Beach Boys, meanwhile, have been playing social distance shows dating to last summer.
For both concerts in San Diego, the style of music fits the soft opening mode for the Padres, Lash said.
“Both are great artists to kick the summer off and mellow enough to keep the crowd under control,” she said.
The two shows are the first of four concerts at Petco Park this year. The state of California opens up with full capacity June 15, clearing the way for the Padres to have bigger shows.
The stadium’s third concert is Midland, a Texas country trio, booked at the Sycuan Stage, which can expand to 10,000 capacity by opening up a street that runs behind the ballpark.
The fourth show is the Hella Mega Tour featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer, scheduled for Aug. 21. The plan is for 100% capacity for the on-field show, which had been postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic.
“We have a great outdoor venue that works well, and we take safety and cleanliness seriously,” Lash said. “As soon as we’re officially able to, we’ll bring music back with a vengeance.”