ESPN Music had the chance to catch up with Switchfoot front man, Jon Foreman, to find out more about the annual Switchfoot Bro-Am Surf Contest and Concert. This Saturday will mark the 11th year that the event has taken place. Foreman told us “We started wondering if there was a way to give back to our hometown. Specifically the communities that gave us the most, which would be the music scene and the surfing world down in San Diego.”
The charity focuses on benefiting various children’s charities throughout the San Diego community, many of which focused on helping underprivileged and homeless children. Forman recalled the band’s thought process behind the start of the event:
“What if we paid it forward to the next generation? Had a surf contest and concert on the beach in our hometown that would celebrate the journey that a lot of these homeless kids are on. Let them know they matter, they’re story is important and raise some money for them as well.”
Switchfoot Bro-Am Surf Contest and Concert has assisted many different charities in the San Diego area, however, this year’s event is going to focus on opening a non-profit music school. In light of the recent budget cuts to Arts Programs in the San Diego school systems, their music school will provide kids with music education via after school programs. Foreman added “The question becomes: does music matter less than math and science, or does it still have a role to play in our society? When you look at all the studies and test scores, it’s a resounding yes.”
Along with its charitable initiatives, the concert and contest is entirely Green… and yes, that includes the stage. Foreman mentioned the similarities between performing on a solar powered stage versus other stages saying “you don’t even feel a difference.” The Bro-Am furthers its Green initiative by setting up Refill Stations for water bottles and staffing a full crew who is dedicated to cleaning up the beach after the event.
Aside from the Surf Competition and Switchfoot Concert, the event includes a “Surf-Jousting” competition. Foreman believes it’s the only one currently in existence. “It’s a last man standing competition, somewhere between WWE with the costumes and fighting with Nerf weapons.” Whatever it is, it sounds like fun.
The event takes place this Saturday, July 11th at the Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA. For more information on the event and how to get involved, visit switchfoot.com/bro-am/.