Stadium of Fire promises fun fun fun with the Beach Boys
Salt Lake Tribune
by Donald W. Meyers
March 20, 2012
Provo • While they never get tired of Salt Lake, the Beach Boys are adding Provo to their 50th anniversary tour.
The band — famous for "Good Vibrations," "California Girls" and "Little Deuce Coupe" — will headline Stadium of Fire on Independence Day, organizers for America’s Freedom Festival at Provo announced Tuesday.
"This is a great year," said Alan Osmond, one of the festival’s trustees. "Everybody has been trying to get these guys."
Brett Walker, the festival’s vice president, said the band was among the top 10 acts fans have asked organizers to bring to the LaVell Edwards Stadium stage. For the three surviving original band members —Mike Love, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine — the July Fourth gig will be an encore performance, having played Stadium of Fire in 1992.
But getting the Beach Boys to return was almost California Dreamin’ for organizers. Paul Warner, the festival’s executive director, said the band initially turned them down.
"They didn’t think it fit into the tour," Warner said. "After they told us no originally, they came back and said, ‘We could make it work. We had such a great time there before, and we could make it work.’ "
Osmond notes high demand can make Independence Day a difficult time to book an act. The fact that the Beach Boys signed on, he added, testifies to how highly regarded the entertainment community views the annual fireworks extravaganza at Brigham Young University.
"I’m excited about it," said Loralee Pearson, who presided over the festival 20 years ago. "I think people remember what a success they were and how much fun it was. I think the younger people are going to enjoy it. They have a great stage presence."
Organizers say the Beach Boys appeal to multiple generations and go well with the show’s family-friendly atmosphere.
But not everyone considered the band wholesome fare.
In 1983, the Beach Boys were banned from performing at the National Fourth of July Concert in Washington, D.C., by then-Interior Secretary James Watt, who alleged that rock bands attracted "the wrong element."
The only other Stadium of Fire headliners to make multiple appearances in the show’s 29-year history were the Osmonds, who performed twice, in 1983 and 1985; and Donny and Marie Osmond, who performed in 1984 and 1985. Donny Osmond performed solo at the 1996 Stadium of Fire.
Advance ticket stales start at 9 a.m. Wednesday on Stadium of Fire’s website. Regular ticket sales will begin Friday morning online and at BYU’s Marriott Center ticket office.
Warner said another act will be announced at later. But the Beach Boys are booked.
So — Provo City, they’ll be coming soon.