WEATHER »
Crosby & Nash

Bruce Ditchfield

Crosby & Nash


Patrick Davis on the Bowl Now & Then

Birthday Wishes from the Founding Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Member


When [my wife,] Nancy, Steve Cloud, Gerry DeWitt, Sam Scranton, and I gathered in our living room in 1979 to form the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, we were afraid that the 17-acre county-owned facility would be redeveloped as luxury condo housing. Nancy and I organized the Laguna Planning Council, representing the neighborhood between the Riviera and downtown.

The Riviera Association was determined to shut the rock ’n’ roll down. We wanted to create a performing arts park with improved facilities that would sustain a professional music season and still be a place for community celebrations and festivals. It took 12 years to wait out the long lease between the county and Old Spanish Days.

Some favorite concerts from this era included Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell’s Smoke Tour, the Art for Life fundraiser for Central American clinics, a Summer Solstice Festival produced by Jenny Sullivan, and, in the mid 1970s, a Paul Horn and Ali Akbar Khan concert produced by Pemabo Productions.

Since the venue was old and was reinvented each season, as evidenced by the long line of Porta-Potties, it was always a dicey operation subject to political pressure by complaining neighbors. It is now an incredible landmark facility that gives back performing arts education to many parts of the county, especially to families whose children might never see professional musicians or be trained in the performing arts. We wish it well on its diamond anniversary!

Patrick Davis is the former Santa Barbara County Arts Commissioner

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Gas Company Launches New Conservation Program

SoCalGas asks Californians to 'Dial It Down' through a high-demand alert.

Amgen Tour 2019 to Visit Santa Barbara

Stage Five of the arduous event will pass through county next May.

Volunteers Needed for Storm-Readiness Effort

County requests citizen help to collate and distribute information.

E-Scooters Banned in Goleta

City Council votes for an immediate but possibly temporary ban while pilot program is developed.

Truck Drivers, Family, and Friends Remember Santiago Perez Jr.

On Friday morning they filled the street near Our Lady of Sorrows.