Surfest 6-Man Tops List That Includes AVP Manhattan Open, Hometown Fair & Smackfest
The lively South Bay Beach Cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles have a long history of singles and socializing that that has long been reflected in the many party events that have taken place here.
Some of them continue to this day and there’s even a relative newcomer as PubClub.com has put together this list of our picks of what we feel are the best of the best the 10 iconic events ever held in the Beach Cities. Add your thoughts to the comments section below!
1.) SURFEST/6-MAN, MANHATTAN BEACH
In its heyday, this was the quintessential South Bay event. It combined incredible athletic skill in the area’s home sport beach volleyball, with the creativity of the locals and an all-out party scene. The 6-man was a beach party with 10,000 people, many of who were part of teams in themed costumes. Alcohol fueled much of the shenanigans, of which there were plenty. House parties also packed in people. It was the closest thing the South Bay ever had to something wild like the Kentucky Derby Infield. PubClub fielded a team a couple of years with the theme “Win Or Lose, We Booze!” And that pretty much sums up 6-man.
Current Day 6-Man: It still exists tho it’s on a Friday and Saturday (Aug. 4-5) insted of on the weekend and barricades with concert-type security guards surround the courts turning the beach into an anti-alcohol fortress. There are no house parties but the people still party, primarily in the afternoons at Shellback Tavern.
2.) AVP MANHATTAN BEACH OPEN
Usually coming on the heels of 6-man, the AVP Manhattan Open was a party in the bars. People would jam into Shellback Tavern and/or Sunsets (which eventually changed its name to Beaches) and is now Strand House) in their board shorts and bikinis the moment play ended on the sand. The players have long referred to the Manhattan Open as the “Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball.” To locals, it was another great beach volleyball-inspired party weekend.
Current-Day AVP Manhattan Open. It’s Aug. 17-20. Click here for more.
3.) SMACKFEST, HERMOSA BEACH
Similar to 6-man, this involves teams dressed up in themes. The difference is that this is mostly recreational players and while it looks like a wild beach party if you were to walk up to it, there’s no “turn the head” by the cops when it comes to drinking on the beach. So people run in and out of the bars on Pier Plaza. It’s become such a big event lately with more than 1,000 people, it is the “new” 6-man.
Current-Day Smackfest: Still going strong! The 2017 event is June 17. Click here for more.
4.) HOMETOWN FAIR (BEER GARDEN), MANHATTAN BEACH
There was a time – a long time – that this was the top event in the South Bay. Everyone who lived in the South Bay (well the single people anyway) would be in the beer garden and everyone (well the single people anyway) who had ever lived in the South Bay and moved away would come back for Hometown Fair. It was two days of socializing and drinking in a grass field and when that was over someone (JP!) would have a house party. There were many slow-moving people the first few days of the next week after Hometown Fair. And a few crashed bicycles, too.
Current-Day Hometown Fair: It’s still there and busy on Saturdays but because there’s so many beer festivals and big concerts that there’s no longer a stampede to be in the beer garden by 1 p.m. Instead, it’s a more casual approach and lacks its former party and singles intensity. The 2017 dates are Oct. 6-7.
5.) AVP HERMOSA BEACH OPEN
If one AVP event is good, then two is great, right!? The Hermosa Open was always less intense than Manhattan and seemed to serve as a party warm-up weekend of pro beach volleyball. Still, it was fun, especially afternoons at the Poop Deck, right across The Strand from the tournament.
Current Day AVP Hermosa Beach: It’s back for 2017! The dates are July. 20-23. Click here for more.
6.) MICHELOB ULTRA BIKINI CONTESTS
These events were before PubClub.com’s time in the South Bay but we know one of the organizers of it and it looks like the good ‘ol Beach Bum Burt’s/Red Onion days type of party event. It was held at Pancho & Wong’s in Redondo Beach and involved girls in bikinis parading around in front of fans and judges. And lots of beer.
7.) HERMOSA BEACH SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
A series of free summer concerts on the sand, these are a “must do” Sunday afternoon-into-evening affairs. People spread out blankets hours in advance, then show up with coolers and plop down to party on the sand. The bands don’t really matter but there’s some occasional big names, like Robby Krieger of The Doors.
Current Day Summer Concert Series: As good as ever, they take place each Sunday afternoon in August. Afterward, the singles pile into Patrick Molloy’s, which has live music and $3 beers on Sunday nites.
8.) TRUMP NATIONAL WINE & BEER FESTIVAL
The relative newcomer to the singles party scene, this is just what the South Bay has long needed, which is why it was a booming success from its launch eight years ago. It’s a semi-upscale version of the Hometown Fair beer garden – at least until all that wine and/or craft beer kicks in and turns it into a great singles scene. The location is premium too, high on a cliff in Palos Verdes looking straight down to the Pacific Ocean.
Current-Day Festival: The date for the 2017 event is Sunday, Aug. 21.
9.) PORTOFINO HALLOWEEN PARTY
This has long been the premier singles Halloween party in the Beach Cities. It’s held at the waterfront banquet room of the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach.
Current-Day Portofino Party: A very good-looking crowd and a fun event!
10.) FIESTA HERMOSA
A three-day festival of tribute and rock cover bands wrapped around a festival that has rows of merchandise tents on Pier Plaza and Hermosa Ave. At least some point on the weekend (if not more than once), just about every single person in the South Bay winds up in the beer garden. This happens twice a year, on Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend.
Current-Day Fiesta Hermosa: For the list of bands for Memorial Day 2017, click here.
HONORABLE MENTION: All those great house parties!