Music lovers fight for live music in city's downtown

Music lovers stand up for live music

IMPERIAL, Calif. - Local music lovers were not happy when their live music was shut down by the city.

When the live music died at a popular open mic spot in Imperial, music lovers stood up to bring it back.

Local musician and high school teacher Ryan Rigney said, “My initial reaction was, hey, what can I do to help fight back against this.”

Lorenzo Galindo, another local musician, said, “It’s very limited as it is, and it’s just limiting more performers.”

Local singer Kelly Aguilera said, “Definitely has a big impact not being able to have any that come through here, it does hurt the community of artists and also just people that enjoy watching or listening to any kind of art.”

Humberto Chavez, one of the owners of Pentagonal Brewery in downtown City of Imperial, said it’s basically a permit issue.

“They let us know that we can do one of two things. We can either get a permit for each time we wanted to have live entertainment or we can make an amendment to our existing conditional use permit,” Chavez said

Galindo argues that the venue is good for the community.

“We’ve seen groups from Mexicali here that really just blew our minds. They had horns, trumpets, saxophones, and it was something I haven’t seen in the valley before,” Galindo said.

He said shutting down live music hurts local talent.

“I was sad for some of the acts that were booked possibly in this point that didn’t get to play, the people that come here are definitely missing out, people of imperial, people of Imperial Valley are missing out,” Galindo said.

“I would love to be able to come back here and play and see other local musicians play,” Galindo said.

They’re asking the city to let the music live again.

“I went down to city hall myself and tried to get information to see what I could do to help get more information regarding this situation,” Rigney said.

Alexis Chalupnik, City of Imperial Public Information Officer, said the city’s not against live music.

“It adds to the nightlife in our downtown. It’s a great community activity and facility that provides much needed events and activities for our residents and surrounding neighborhoods.We want to see that business thrive. We want to support it. We just want to make sure that everyone is protected legally,” Chalupnik said.

And to prove her point, City Council voted unanimously to return live music to downtown Imperial, as long as the music wasn’t too loud. Pentagonal owners promised to keep a close eye – and ear – on that.

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