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Letter from a Founder

Tell me whats your heart been through,

Tell me where you’re going to,

Tell me all the things you’d like to do but you can’t ‘cause you’re scared…


It’s Friday evening, the sun having reclaimed its place on the throne after another dreary week, and I’m sitting back listening to my daughter splash around in the bath. My wife, Colleen, and I have developed a tradition over the last few years of listening to all the bands that going to be playing the next BeachLife, and these playful lyrics happened to dance their way through our early evening ritual and into the corners of my mind. So like a cocktail party drinking game, I’ll go first…

Tell me what’s your heart been through…

Has your heart ever felt exhausted? Mine has been over the last few years – navigated some tumultous business situations over the pandemic, exited unhealthy partnerships, drank too much, questioned existence occasionally, literally worried about the lives of my wife and child and how I was going to support them, and even handed out food and toilet paper to close friends out of the back of my restaurant when things were at their worst. Yet, though they were the worst of times, they may have been the best of times. Sneaking by police cars to go surfing when we weren’t allowed (empty lineups!), hiking down the cliffs in the late afternoon to sneak a few beers in at our Exiles Club on the rocks, and taking long ocean swims in the middle of the afternoon…the beach never turned its back on me as a place to make sense of the chaos, and I walked through the rubble with a newfound sense of simplicity that now guides each day I wake up to.

Tell me where you’re going…

I have a reckless abandon to go where I haven’t been before – wasting time feels criminal, and time spent away from my family is focused with laser precision. Why do we get stuck spending time on projects that don’t inspire passion, or hanging out with individuals that are neither genuine or good-spirited? I’m spending more time giving back to the community than I ever have, or ever thought I would have, and trying to deploy time and resources to supporting causes that I feel strongly about. And when I pull back over the big picture landscape, I realize I’m striving to live up to the culture and values that I so badly want BeachLife Festival to be for all of you. Friends. Nostalgia. Love. Inspiration. The good stuff.

Tell me all the things you’d like to do but you can’t ‘cause you’re scared…

I usually wouldn’t share this personal a perspective for fear of being made fun of or not taken seriously. But as I listen to these lyrics tonight, with my wife and child laughing their way to bed, I am again reminded of the power of music, and why I have made it my mission to spread it. Sure, it sounds hokey – nothing more than a three day music festival, right? But when are you happiest? Ocean breeze, sunset, your favorite song, your favorite person or people, good vibes and love everywhere. And after experiencing that great stuff, there is a tendency to spread that goodness. So although I can achieve my Zen just by watching others enjoy themselves, the thought of BeachLife contributing in the slightest way to our everyday culture is something that dreams are made of, but that I’m not longer scared to aspire towards.

I’ll be right next to all of you in May, enjoying the tunes with my family – and making memories.

Allen Sanford

Founder, BeachLife

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Nathan Adrian
Nathan Adrian

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