Switchfoot moves on from Encinitas studio

A music school and performance space that rock band Switchfoot started last summer in downtown Encinitas is now being run by a local couple.

The band left because it realized that funds for the property could be better spent on aiding existing youth music programs. That’s according to Tina Butler, executive director of Switchfoot Bro-Am, a benefit concert the band puts on annually at Moonlight Beach.

Butler said the band, for instance, recently partnered with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation to provide instruments to Montgomery Elementary School in Chula Vista. Some of the funds from this year’s Bro-Am will go toward the VH1 foundation’s local work, she said.

"We want our donor money to be as impactful as possible…And we feel like our partnership with VH1, as far as funding local music education, is a really impactful way to make a difference," Butler said.

Another reason for moving on was that Switchfoot operated the music school on a pay-what-you-can model, and the band underestimated the number of families who couldn’t contribute, Butler said.

She added Bro-Am Studios, now called The Studio Encinitas, is in good hands. Jon Humphrey, a long-time music manager who has worked with the likes of U2, and his wife Sandy have operated the space since January. It’s located at 1057 S. Coast Highway 101.

When reached over the phone this week, Sandy said The Studio Encinitas has hosted everything from San Dieguito Academy bands to a CD release party to a gathering of local socially-conscious companies. Every Wednesday the spot has an all-ages open mic night from 6 to 9 p.m.

"Parents are thrilled they can drop off their kids somewhere safe," Sandy said.

Count on more community events and music classes, too.

"We want it to be a blank slate for anyone who wants to come in with a creative idea," Sandy said.

The Humphreys, who are leasing the property, charge for some gatherings while others, such as open-mic night, are free.

Sandy said the studio is surrounded by other creative businesses, including Univ, GoodOnYa Café and To The Stars, a comic book and retail store started by former Blink-182 member Tom DeLonge.

"It’s turned into a really cool block, and all the businesses want to collaborate," she said.

Visit thestudioencinitas.com to learn more.

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