SAN DIEGO — This year's Michelob Street Scene, an end-of-summer frolic that for two years has filled the downtown streets with thousands of reveling rock 'n' roll fans, is getting some national recognition.
Saturday's festive outdoor dance concert will be filmed by MTV for the 24-hour cable music network's monthlong "Amuck in America" birthday celebration, which features events around the country in daily broadcasts through Sept. 5.
Continuous music on two stages will start at 3 p.m. The groups, in order of appearance, are:
The Paladins, a blues/rockabilly band from San Diego that has toured extensively throughout the Southwest; the Smithereens, an upstart band from New Jersey; the Beat Farmers, another San Diego band, whose "American roots" music sent their second album, "Van Go," spiraling up the national album charts earlier this year; blues, gospel and soul singer Delbert McClinton; the Call, a new wave outfit from Santa Cruz whose current hits include "Everywhere I Go" and the chantlike "I Still Believe"; Trouble Funk, a 10-piece band from Washington, and Los Lobos, an East Los Angeles band which plays a mixture of melodic Latino rock and forceful new wave.
"This will be MTV's first production in San Diego," said promoter Rob Hagey, 35, who is best known in local concert circles as the founder of the San Diego Jazz Festival.
"I think it's very exciting that the timing of the street scene coincides with the filming schedule of 'Amuck in America,' and at the same time I'm proud that the street scene is being recognized as one of the premier concert events in America."
"It's something that appeals to us not just because it's a musical event, but because it's something different," said MTV publicist Carole Robinson. "It fits in with the whole MTV image, and we just thought it would be a great thing to tie in to."
Apart from MTV's involvement, Hagey said, this year's street scene, co-sponsored by progressive rock radio station XTRA-FM (91X), will be the biggest one Hagey's ever staged.
The promoter said he expects the show to draw more than 10,000 people, nearly twice the number who came last year. So instead of confining the party to a single roped-off block, he's holding it in an empty parking lot at the corner of Pacific Highway and F Street.
"Last year's street scene sold out, so this year we definitely needed a larger site," Hagey said. "And with the new arrangement, we can accommodate as many as 20,000 people, which means that everyone who wants to get in will be able to do so.
"Also, the sight lines are better. When you're in the street, everything's very long and narrow, with buildings on both sides. At past street scenes, that created both visibility problems and safety problems, from people hanging out the windows to gain a better view.
"Now, we have a wide-open space, so both of those problems are eliminated as well."
Despite its size--and the fact that it's getting national attention--the essentials of the Michelob Street Scene '86 are the same, Hagey said: nearly eight hours of non-stop music; street vendors hawking everything from hot dogs to beer; a mix of people ranging from teens in AC/DC T-shirts to suit-and-tie professionals, and plenty of dancing in the streets.
"Dance concerts in the street have been held since the 1960s, and even before, in big cities all over the country," Hagey said. "Now that San Diego has become a big city, both in size and in terms of cultural diversity, it seems only natural that we start having them here on a regular basis as well.
"And as San Diego continues to grow, this event will hopefully grow with it--eventually, to the point where it takes up the entire Labor Day weekend.
"Just look how far we've come already."