Khalid’s Free Santa Monica Show Shut Down The Pier And Beach For A Half Mile

06.23.17 4 months ago

Update: An independent crowd-counting firm was hired to survey the crowd and found that officials overestimated the crowd size at 60,000. This story has been updated to reflect the corrected tally at 25,000.

I’ve been going to the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series for about three years, ever since I discovered it by total accident in 2015, and so far I’ve seen Alina Baraz, Mayer Hawthorne, Protoje, and The Ohio Players all perform there. But I have never, never seen anything like teenage sensation Khalid’s set Thursday night. The set not only shut down the pier, something I hadn’t seen from longer established acts, it proved one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: Khalid is a legitimate superstar.

Since I’ve been to so many Twilight Series concerts, I consider myself sort of a vet. I know the perfect spot to stand on the pier to catch the best audio, I know which of the various craft beers on tap in the beer garden are the tastiest, I’m cool with many of the security staff and vendors. So, I thought it would be fine to show up around 8 PM, as the headliner set generally doesn’t begin until around 9:30.

This turned out to be a mistake, as by then, not only had access to the pier itself basically been cut off, there was hardly a single square foot of space on the beach below, for almost three blocks away from the stage. As local news reports show, the entire area was overrun with about 25,000 people, it was so packed that it shut down the beach and police even suggested avoiding the area:

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