Sammy Hagar Making Up for 86’d HB Fest with a Free Show … in Mexico

Sammy Hagar says to come see him in Cabo. (Image courtesy

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:

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.’”

Sammy’s rides. (Photo courtesy

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; Sat.-Sun., Sept. 28-29, VIP, 11:45 a.m.; general admission, noon. $59-$10,000. 21+.

26 Replies to “Sammy Hagar Making Up for 86’d HB Fest with a Free Show … in Mexico”

  1. Sure I’ll be refunded for the $1200 in VIP tkts I bought, but I lost money on my non-refundable airfare, and car rental. Total bullshit! I’m going to Cabo over the Sammy Hagar birthday bash week in Oct 2019, but of course, no apology tickets will be given during that time. All about the $$ with no accountability!

  2. Wow who is screwing who. Huntington finally figured out how to put that beach to good use, I’m guessing there has been a dozen concerts last two years, different music artists, rides, good food and beer. Lots of people. 3 cancled shows in row. They can’t get a permit now, would that not one of the first things you would secure before you anouced a show. They have a whole week to get a permit or inspected. WTF somethinging is stinking to high hell in H. B. It was fun while lasted. I’m gusing they pulled pulg. Back to marshel law

      1. The section of the beach where these concerts are is Huntington State Beach. That part of the beach belongs to the State of California not the City of HB. It is under the State Park Service so they make all the rules for the permits etc. I’m bummed because I can work at these events and make damn good $ in just a few hours. This is the third one cancelled this year. There was the “Like Totally ’80s” back in May, “On the Water” supposed to go in Oct. but was cancelled last month and now this. The ones that actually happened were the Inaugural Sammy show last year, the “Surf City Blitz” end of Oct. 2018, and the “Back to the Beach” end of April of this year (2019) The last two were put on by a different group who has their shit together better than these clowns. The other two that were cancelled that company (SGE) is out of business.
        As for this show, it’s possible that the money wasn’t flowing in as expected after not being able to deliver just the basics let alone all the VIP amenities promised last year. So there are either crooks behind this or some woefully inept organizers at Freeze Management. They wouldn’t comment due to pending litigation. So what’s that about? Who is suing whom? Mr. Hagar needs to look at who he’s hired and start from scratch because he’s going to ruin his name with these events.

  3. Red tape, killing you killing me. How do you anouce a show with out the legal requirements in the bag. They already played there, it should be a pice cake. 8 days to go to show. Inspect and go. It’s got to be something else. 3 shows in row cancled? What’s really going on here. B. S.

  4. Total bs, all of us who have booked hotels airfare etc – taken time off work and spent all this money to be notified 1 week prior to scheduled event that it’s cancelled, leaving us all high and dry. Let alone those who paid extra for advertised cruises!!

  5. Surely there’s no way this is true. We spent thousands of dollars starting last December to go. Hopefully this is a hoax.

    1. I was never even notified, found out it was cancelled by checking the schedule on the website today. How did this happen, ridiculous, lots of planning by all the festgoers, work vacations, flights, hotels, cars etc… but the event promoters can’t get it right, seems something is not on the up and up.

  6. I’m traveling from CT, I’m leaving Tuesday, no way to change my plans at this late date. Who plans an event, sells tickets, does press the day the event is cancelled? Somebody should’ve been concern months ago about not having permits. Now to hear other events couldn’t get permits, what’s up, what events were they? So disappointed and frustrated!

  7. I was never even notified, found out it was cancelled by checking the schedule on the website today. How did this happen, ridiculous, lots of planning by all the festgoers, work vacations, flights, hotels, cars etc… but the event promoters can’t get it right, seems something is not on the up and up.

  8. Unbelievable! The show was announced a year ago! They should have had the permits in place before they announce the show or put the tickets on sale. I spent a couple thousand dollars on this trip all non refundable except for the tickets. Headed to Cabo for the birthday bash, maybe they’ll comp tickets for that.

  9. Who did you get airline, hotel and rental cars from that are non refundable? Hotels work on 72 hours canceling notice, airlines 12 hours (wont get your money back but you get credit. Rental cars you dont even need a cc to make a reservation. How are people that clueless

    1. if you have a group going you rented out a VRBO most likely and that is non refundable, plus when you take a work vacation you cannot change it last minute. Plus, the cost of incidentals that go along with any vacation. People are not clueless. I lost a good bit of money myself, due to this last minute cancellation. I made a ton of pre concert arrangements, even bought beach chairs. And no, I don’t really need beach chairs.

    2. Also I know people who already shipped their cars for this event? Have you ever shipped a vintage car across the nation? What about the vendors who counted on this event. Those t-shirts won’t mean much now.

  10. Sammy,
    You should probably go on record and defuse all of this. Good thing my mom lives in Lakewood. So all is not lost. My girls birthday is on the 28th. Things happen but thinking everyone should hear from you. Fans forever, Dan and Cindy from Utah.

  11. You couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery Hagar or a fuck in a brothel. These are.the first things you make sure you have before you announce the show and take every body’s money. Are you going to refund all the thousands of $$$ that people have lost on booking hotels,airfares plus other things.You will still make money on interest from the thousands of dollars you took in pre sales stashed away in the bank. All these year’s of experience in the industry and you FUCK UP badly like this what a WANKER .

  12. Why can’t something be worked out. Is it City BS or something else. All I know is HB can be a pain in the ass to work with. They don’t make it easy.

  13. I am curious what specifically the city of HB didnt like and I agree with all the comments about how can you advertise and not have all the permits in place. something very strange about this. We are talking about professional long time artists and promoters that just didnt start doing this for a living last year.

  14. This IS absolute BS when I have nothing to look forward to and my husband doesn’t like to do ANYTHING, I was so excited to see The Circle and SAMMY! And I can’t make it to Cabo, are you serious?? Do a show at Glen Helen! And Honor the High Tide tickets there! ????

  15. Sounds like the promoter messed up big time. The BC Racing Association had no troubles promoting awesome international stand up Jet Ski Racing events in the surf at the Huntington Beach pier for ten years 1984- 1994. Takes an year in advance to organize and promote an successful event and Huntington Beach and State Parks are eager and easy to work with promoters that know what they are doing. Sammy should look up Brad Cuthbertson who retired in 1994 and lives in Kona, Hawaii and have him do an 2020 kick-ass event..

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