Volcom Circus juggler at PacSun Beach Ballyhoo.

Photos by Tom Wallace

It was a first for Pacific Sunwear to host the Summer Solstice Beach Ballyhoo at the Santa Monica pier last weekend, and unlikely to be their last based on its success. For the beleaguered retailer whose profits have dipped over the last year as trends in youth culture fashion have changed and the effect of the economy has taken its toll, the PacSun Beach Ballyhoo may have just been the necessary shot in the arm they needed. Thousands of people showed up for the much-hyped affair and the key action sports-inspired brands that participated really showed the crowd a good time.

WESC’s grassy area for making flower wreaths. They also offered strawberries and cream.

Two very popular areas were the Volcom Circus featuring stilt walkers, jugglers, funny mirrors, clowns, and loads of customized trucker hats and swag, as well as WESC’s maypole grassy area where people could create their own head wreaths from real flowers and eat strawberries with cream. The O’Neill swimming pool was a cool-down area where not only could you float around in the midst of this somewhat chaotic party, but get a free beach towel for the dip. RVCA hosted an art in stallion, Nike and Quiksilver had carnival style basketball hoop games that had people lined up for hours, Hurley offered customized boardshorts, whereas Vans offered customized hats and bags -some by renowned artist Peanut–and Roxy offered beaded jewelry making -an area which was just packed with people. Fox’s White-Out tent was also a big hit and many people in the crowd were sporting their new customized Fox trucker hats.

Stiltwalker at the Volcom Circus.

On the first day, the music line-up was considerably strong featuring Circa Survive, Ra Ra Riot, and AWOLNATION, along with a Tony Hawk demo in a skatepark. Skaters included Hawk, Lincoln Ueda, Neal Hendrix, Sergie Ventura, among others. This was followed up by Fox BMX team with Chase Hawk, Scott Cranmer, and Trey Jones.

“We are thrilled with the success and positive response we have received,” said PacSun CEO, Gary Schoenfeld. “The PacSun Beach Ballyhoo represents the beginning of new changes at PacSun while we reclaim the fun, California spirit that the company is known for.”

The assessment is solid: starting back with its roots and Southern California beach lifestyle, the event was one big love-fest of action sports brands that really pulled it off. If only trade shows could be this much fun.

Action sports grid at the entrance of the PacSun Beach Ballyhoo event.

Nicely shaded areas were also a part of the scene including this DJ area.

Lots of contests and free swag. Here’s the Fox white-out tent.

On the second day, the skate park included exhibitions by the Lost skate team. This is a young kid from the team, but he ruled.

Neon Trees were one of the popular bands on the second day.

O’Neill dipping pool.

RVCA art installation.

Roxy beaded jewelry making area was hugely popular.

Vans customized swag area including some limited-edition pieces by artist Peanut.

Chalk walk area was a great idea.

PacSun colored cups in the grid of the VIP area.