Bro-Am Festival to make waves again June 30

A celebration of music, surfing and charity will once again hit the sands of Moonlight Beach on June 30 when the rock band Switchfoot presents the 14th annual Bro-Am.

Each year, the community event includes surf contests, live music and vendors that raise funds for local youth programs.

"The Bro-Am is our favorite day of the year," said Switchfoot guitarist Drew Shirley in a recent interview. "It embodies what Switchfoot is all about. You've got surfing, music, building up the community and helping people in need. That is the essence and soul of what Switchfoot has done for so many years."

This year, the event will feature performances by Switchfoot, Colony House, Sure Sure and the to-be-announced winner of the 91X Battle for the Bro-Am contest.

Shirley said the idea for the festival originally came up when Switchfoot was on a flight back home to San Diego from Australia back in the early 2000s.

The Grammy Award-winning musical group unanimously agreed that they wanted to give back to the community that has given them so much.

The band held its first Bro-Am in a small Italian restaurant in Encinitas. Now, the event draws in 17,000 attendees from more than 35 states and 10 countries on the sands of Moonlight Beach.

And every year, the event and its Bro-Am Foundation raise money for five youth-based charities: A Step Beyond, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Feeding San Diego, Rob Machado Foundation, StandUp for Kids and VH1 Save the Music.

Shirley estimated the foundation has raised more than $1 million for the charities.

"The Bro-Am is something that has become a legacy for us," Shirley said. "We're so proud to be a part of that. It's honestly not just our band that carries it; the community carries this day. So many local businesses, local charities, local brands and people that have influence and money in the community come out and sponsor it. Every penny of every dollar raised goes to the [Bro-Am] Foundation, which benefits five different charities in San Diego."

Prior to the beach event, Switchfoot will kick things off with the Bro-Am Benefit Party on June 28 at a private venue to be disclosed upon ticket purchase. That event will include offerings like exclusive auctions, food and a performance by Switchfoot.

Shirley said the Bro-Am encompasses everything Switchfoot — which has uplifting hits like “Dare You to Move” — is all about.

"We exist to help others and play music that brings hope," he said. "We want to do something that puts action to the songs that we sing. We believe hope deserves an anthem. We're out there with our fists raised in the air, singing that anthem at every show. The Bro-Am embodies that hope lived out by people."

For more information and tickets to the Bro-Am, visit www.broam.org.

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