Provider for the Swarm

On May 27, lawmen snuffed out a show at Stripline, a new all-age venue in San Marcos. The promoter, who had hosted four shows there during a two-month period, didn't have an entertainment license.

"The police told us that the daughter of someone who worked for the city [of San Marcos] mentioned Stripline to her father," says Jen Razavi, 19, who helped organize some of the shows. "Since then, the cops have been watching us."

Stripline is located in a warehouse near Restaurant Row in San Marcos. Music teacher Al Padilla rented out the space and taught his guitar students how to play Green Day and blink-182 riffs.

"Then I learned the power of real estate," Padilla says about his decision to stop teaching and start running rehearsal studios. He built four practice rooms and rented each one for $400 a month. The rehearsal rooms and a recording studio are upstairs. He built a 1500-square-foot performance space downstairs.

"I invested money in a decent-sized stage and in a sound and light system." During the four shows he had, Padilla says, "There was never a problem with drugs, alcohol, or fights. We only had a minor problem with trash, which we cleaned up....

"The bad thing about this business is the moment you tell a band they can play a show, they are going to advertise it on the Internet." San Marcos sheriff's deputies cited Padilla for the violation. "I have to go to court on July 19. They told me if I continue to do this, they would give me a misdemeanor. And if I kept doing it, eventually I would get a felon.... There is no all-age venue in North County, yet there is a swarm of bands up here who want to play."

"The cops [who canceled the show] were super cool," says drummer Jared Buckwalter. His band, Carol Ann, was supposed to be the last of four to play on May 27. "It sucks having to drive to San Diego [to perform]. We played [the small stage] at Soma. It sold out. A lot of our fans didn't make it there in time, so they couldn't get in. They wouldn't let some of our parents in."

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