BeachLife Festival founders sail up to Venice to open new music venue – Daily Breeze


A couple of years ago, Allen Sanford and Rob Lissner created the biggest music festival in the South Bay, and now the business partners behind the popular BeachLife Festival are making waves in Venice with a new live music venue that could offer a sneak peek of future festival acts.

“We’re doing everything from jazz, to blues, to indie, a lot of up-and-comer indie stuff, so kind of all over the map,” said Sanford, who along with Lissner opened The Venice West, a 3,200-square-foot venue, on Oct. 8.

Located at 1717 Lincoln Blvd., in a space that formerly housed the former live music venue WitZend, the new spot hit the ground running with acts The Smash Up, the Wailers and English Beat already rocking crowds in early October.

Some of the notable acts set to perform soon include The Untouchables Oct. 29,  LAW on Nov. 12 and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds on Nov. 26.

“It’s more live music; live music heals the soul,” said Lissner, who is a longtime Venice resident.

And while the new spot has already hosted bands that have performed at BeachLife, like English Beat, it could also offer a preview of what people will see at the BeachLife Festival.

“It’s a great place for us to bring some bands in, listen to them and potentially bring them on to BeachLife at some point,” Lissner said.

The Venice West is a new music and dinner venue recently opened by the founders of BeachLife Festival. (Photo courtesy The Venice West)

And besides a stage, Venice West is also a full-service restaurant  serving American fare.

“We’re really trying to redefine what it means to go to a supper house or a dinner and a show,” Sanford said.

The venue holds 225 people who will be able to eat or hang at the bar during shows. With bigger bands there may be a few tables removed to make space, but the goal is to keep it an intimate spot, Sanford said.

“It’s a proper music venue with really good food,” Lissner said.

The Venice West is currently open from Thursday to Sunday but the plan is to eventually have music and food nightly.

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