Tickets for final ‘Birthday Bash’ on sale
After more than two decades of birthday parties at the Waikiki Shell, local radio station KCCN-FM announced this year's 22nd annual "KCCN FM-100 Birthday Bash" will be the last.
Tickets for the July 28 concert go on sale Saturday, May 12, at the Blaisdell Box Office, with the first 1,000 terrace seats available for just $19 (regular price $29) and lawn seats on sale for $38. VIP packages will also be available.
According to KCCN program director Wayne Maria, the decision to say goodbye to the annual summertime event was part of a "restructuring" at the station. Longtime "Bash" co-producer Events International informed KCCN earlier this year that they wouldn't be available to work on the concert, but the station still wanted to host a proper sendoff for longtime fans. Promoter Ray Ho, Jr. has since agreed to help produce this year's final show.
"It's bittersweet," admitted KCCN promotions director Shannon Scott. "I went to the first 'Birthday Bash,' and then I've been a part of it since the fourth one.
"It's exciting to see what we got in store, but it's still hard."
Ever since the first "Bash" in 1990, the concert has been the must-attend event of the summer for island music and reggae fans. After selling out year after year, the station decided in 2000 to expand the party to two nights at the Waikiki Shell, with different lineups each night to appeal to both younger and older fans.
This year, however, there will be only one show. And even though tickets go on sale this weekend, the concert's lineup won't be announced until June 4. Both Maria and Scott said they wouldn't be surprised if the final "Bash" sells out before the station even gets a chance to share that info with fans.
"I think this is going to be THE concert of the summer," said Maria. "Everyone will be asking if you went to the very last 'Birthday Bash.' You don't want to be that guy who didn't go."
While he wouldn't disclose details, Maria promised the station would continue to host concerts — both during the summer and throughout the rest of the year — and that the decision to bid aloha to the "Bash" wouldn't diminish KCCN's presence in the local music scene.
"Yes, it's the last 'Birthday Bash,'" he said. "But does that mean KCCN will stop hosting concerts? No."
Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.