I feel the same way as Lando Calrissian: This Quiksilver Pro deal is getting worse all the time: First they take away the booze, then the concert times changed + no more Q-Tip and now no festivals (skate/bmx/motox/concerts). We can definitely blame the first two on The City of Long Beach (the galatic empire?). No booze and earlier concerts would surely appease the complaining residents, but what about the festivals? Like I said, this Quiksilver Pro deal is getting worse all the time…. But, maybe this decision by the City is justified.
Contrary to an article I wrote the other day (see – Editorial: Soaking in the Quiksilver Pro (sans festival) Disappointment), I’m going to give you the other viewpoint: Why the festivals got cancelled and why we have to learn how to deal and accept.
Here is the City’s official statement (source – QUIKSILVER PRO NEW YORK SURF CONTEST WILL RUN). The stuff I want to talk about is highlighted in red:
August 30, 2011 – Quiksilver is working closely with the City of Long Beach to preserve the heart of the professional surf contest scheduled to start on Sunday, September 4 in light of the impact of Hurricane Irene and concerns for the Long Beach community, which suffered significant damage from the storm. The Quiksilver Pro is scheduled to start its 11-day “holding period” on Monday, September 5. The Quiksilver Pro Trials presented by Unsound Surf will run on Sunday, September 4. The situation has been changing daily, and we recognize that City resources are focused on hurricane restoration and clean up as first priority. In that context, the festival and music components of the event are no longer achievable. The Quiksilver Pro NY is first and foremost about the surf contest and Long Beach has an incredible surfing tradition and spirit. We are committed to holding the ASP tour event at Long Beach so that together we can promote the sport by bringing together the best surfers in the world to this terrific community.
Lets face the facts: Hurricane (or Tropical Storm) Irene happend and hit us hard. Maybe your place is fine, but many folks in Long Beach suffered severe damage, flooding & loss of electricity. Many are just getting their electric back now. The city needs to focus all of its resources (fire/police/security/maintenance etc.) on helping these residents (our neighbors) get back to a normal life. My house suffered no damage, so I feel kinda crappy complaining I won’t get to see The Flaming Lips, while my neighbors are still pumping water out of their houses. The City is telling us: Let’s keep the crowds down and give our residents a break. They suffered enough. My words, not theres, but I am sure that’s what they’re thinking.
Am I still disappointed? Sure, I’m allowed to be, but emergencies come first. All we can do now is wish for good waves and a smooth successful event.
Let these photos taken by Jerry Otero remind you of the devastation that Long Beach suffered: