Switchfoot Bro-Am going virtual again this year

First live music concert in California
Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman performed with the band at a drive-in concert last June at Petco Park.
(Sydney Prather/For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The annual festival, concert and surfing tournament at Moonlight Beach raises money for local charities


For the second summer in a row, the Switchfoot Bro-Am will be presented virtually this year, with a livestream event planned for Saturday evening, June 19.

One of North County’s biggest summer attractions, the all-star concert and beach fest held each June at Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas raise money for local charities, and always include a surfing tournament. The events were created in 2005 by members of the Grammy-winning alt-rock band Switchfoot as a way to say thank you to their fans and to their hometown of Encinitas.

On a flight home from a concert in Australia nearly two decades ago, the band members came up with the idea to create the Switchfoot Bro-Am Foundation and tap the talents of their friends in the surfing and music industries for charity events. Bro-Am events include a private benefit party and a free beach fest for the public. In past years, Switchfoot Bro-Am has attracted up to 18,000 attendees each year and, collectively, they have raised more than $1.5 million.

Formed in 1996 initially under the name Chin Up, Switchfoot includes brothers Jon and Tim Foreman, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas and Drew Shirley. The band’s name is drawn from a surfing term that refers to changing the forward foot on a surfboard. The band won a 2011 Grammy Award for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album for “Hello Hurricane.” The band has also won 11 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and 12 San Diego Music Awards.

The band is now at work on its 12th studio album. The first single, “I need you (to be wrong),” was released on May 7.

Because of the pandemic, the beach event last summer was canceled and a livestreamed concert was held instead. It attracted about 20,000 viewers worldwide and raised more than $70,000.

The beneficiaries for this year’s Bro-Am are six nonprofit organizations providing services to the homeless, at-risk and disadvantaged youth with a special focus on music, art and surfing. They are: Save the Music Foundation, Feeding San Diego, Feeding America, Monarch School, Challenged Athletes Foundation and A Step Beyond.

This year’s livestream will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and will feature Switchfoot, Andrew McMahon, Phantom Planet, Madison Cunningham and State to State. Tickets are $10.99 and on sale at

— Pam Kragen is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune