UPDATE 2, SEPT. 22, 9:35 A.M.: Sammy Hagar took to Twitter to announce he will make up for the cancellation of his High Tide Beach Party & Car Show in Huntington Beach with a free show … in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
“I don’t know exactly what happened,” Hagar says in the video. “The promoters and the city both put out press releases saying what happened. And I guess that’s what happened. All I can say is I’m sorry. I’m more disappointed than anyone. I think all the fans know how much I care about them, how much I care about my parties and my music and everything that I do. But I’m gonna try to make it up.”
Hagar says he and his band The Waboritas will perform a free birthday bash show Oct. 8 in Cabo and that tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
“I’m gonna try and do that throughout the country next year on tour with The Circle,” he adds. “Even maybe something this year… Do some free concerts, here and there, pop-up concerts, little club somewhere. Ultimately, I’d love to do a big giant one on the beach. But until we can get all that done, I just wanna say I’m sorry and I’ll make it up.”
Here is Hagar’s Twitter message:
Like you, I’m surprised & disappointed about High Tide, & sorry for fans who are inconvenienced – I’ll make it up to you Redheads, starting w/ extra free show 10/8 w/ the Wabos in Cabo! Old style: first come, first served#ImDisappointedToo #RedheadsRule #FansFirst #SeeYouInCabo pic.twitter.com/pCvozdv3gQ
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) September 21, 2019
California State Parks officials blame the Surf City festival’s production company, Freeze Management, with failing to: pay all fees for the event, including those related to public safety; produce a sanitation services contract; and provide documentation for the main stage as required by the parks service and the Office Of The State Fire Marshall.
UPDATE, SEPT. 20, 5:50 P.M.: California State Parks announced Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party & Car Show has been cancelled, citing a lack of proper permits.
ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 20, 7:39 A.M.: Although Sammy Hagar was ecstatic when his inaugural High Tide Beach Party & Car Show sold out last year, the singer/guitarist nicknamed “The Red Rocker”—best known for his sometimes-tumultuous 13-year tenure as the front man of Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Van Halen—says the event was also a learning experience.
“It was the best time, but we made a lot of mistakes,” Hagar concedes. “We ran out of beer. We ran out of tacos. We ran out of T-shirts. It was twice the success anyone expected.”
This year, a better-stocked High Tide kicks off at Huntington State Beach on Saturday, Sept. 28. The show has expanded to two days and features a lineup of more than a dozen performers that range from classic rockers Blue Oyster Cult to ’80s hard-rock stalwarts Night Ranger and Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil to a pair of acts well-suited to playing a concert on the sand, the Beach Boys and KC and the Sunshine Band. Hagar’s current outfit, the Circle (which also features longtime Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, closes out day one.
“Conceptually, I said, ‘I want to have all my favorite [stuff] in one place, and I want to invite my favorite kinds of bands to create this,’” Hagar says. “It’s not a festival; it’s a party.”
The event is the latest business venture for the now-71-year-old singer and entrepreneur, who was born in Salinas but grew up in Fontana. “We used to ditch school and go to the beach—Laguna, Huntington,” he remembers. “I’ve always been a beach nut. I just feel like if I can see the ocean, I’m happy, and if I can be walking on it, I’m even happier.”
Orange County has also provided Hagar with some of his favorite musical memories—as well as one he’d like to forget. “I used to come down and see Dick Dale play at the Rendezvous,” he recalls of the Balboa ballroom that caught fire in 1966. “That was a big deal to me. One of the first licks I learned on guitar was ‘Misirlou.’ Orange County was always a good area for me, but I had the hardest time breaking New York because I was considered a Southern California guy. The critics used to say, ‘Sammy’s, like, trying to bring the beach to the Big Apple—it don’t work.’”
Persistence paid off, though, and after releasing two records with Montrose and another eight as a solo artist, Hagar was invited to replace David Lee Roth as Van Halen’s front man in 1985. The group proceeded to release three chart-topping studio albums—1986’s 5150, 1988’s OU812 and 1991’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge—and a 1993 live record that the group supported with a tour that ended at Costa Mesa’s Pacific Amphitheatre.
Hagar and Van Halen mended bridges soon after and went on to record another No. 1 album, 1995’s Balance, but things fell apart again in 1996, at which point Hagar resumed his solo career. He temporarily rejoined Van Halen for a successful 2004 reunion tour, but for the past 15 years, he has juggled fronting supergroups (Chickenfoot, the Circle) with a number of non-musical interests, including television (AXS TV’s Rock & Roll Road Trip), radio (the syndicated Top Rock Countdown) and spirits (he famously sold his Cabo Wabo tequila brand for $91 million). He also owns several beach-themed bars and restaurants, the profits from which he donates to local charities.
“It’s just a perfect life,” Hagar says. “It sounds like I’m bragging, but I’m not. I’ve found it: I get to live at the beach, I make tequila [and] rum, [and] I own restaurants and bars. I have a beautiful wife and a beautiful family. I don’t have anything to complain about.”
Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party & Car Show at Huntington State Beach, 21601 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach; hightidebeachparty.com. Sat.-Sun., Sept. 28-29, VIP, 11:45 a.m.; general admission, noon. $59-$10,000. 21+.