SAN MARCOS — Hundreds of people gathered around a baseball diamond in Hollandia Park on Aug. 15, watching intently the space between first and second base.
However, the crowd wasn’t paying attention to pop flies or star infielders, but to the Beatles tribute band Help!.
With the sun setting behind them, the band played to a crowd that covered the outfield.
On beach blankets, lawn chairs and with umbrellas, the crowd was reminiscent of one at Moonlight Beach. Instead of waves and sand, the shuffling backbeat of “Revolution 1” emanated from the speakers, followed by the distinctly British accents of the musicians on stage — all San Diego natives.
As the sun set, an audience of all ages pressed up close to the stage. Parents showed their children how to dance, older couples did the twist.
As Help! harmonized on the refrain for “She Loves You,” one of the organizers of the event, Holly Macintosh, explained the idea behind the concert. “It’s the first time the city of San Marcos has ever offered a free event. It’s not a fundraiser, we just wanted to have a concert available to everybody.”
“It’s the first time we’re offering a free concert at one of our parks,” Kathy Cronin, the recreations supervisor for the city of San Marcos, said. “We do concerts that people pay to attend regularly, and we’ve had requests to do a free concert from many people. So we thought this would be the perfect venue. We got some sponsorships from Albertsons and Chick-fil-A and decided to go with it. I’m really happy with it.”
As the closing words to “Hey Jude” were chanted by the band and the crowd, the sun finally slid down behind the hills between San Marcos and the sea. “I can tell people are really enjoying this,” Cronin said as she watched the proceedings.