Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

Santa Ana Planning Commissioner Sean Mill and I drove down to the Culture Carnival – an all night musical event, with art, that was supposed to start at 7 pm on Friday night, in a warehouse in southwest Santa Ana.  But we had a feeling that the event was not going to go as planned.

I had found out earlier in the day that the Santa Ana Police Department and Alvaro Nunez, the Santa Ana Code Enforcement Supervisors, had been talking to the event organizers – who didn’t pull a permit for the event.  I reached out right away to a publicist who was promoting the event, when word about this first came to me.  But trying to get a permit on a Friday, when Santa Ana furloughs most of their city employees on Fridays, is not an easy thing to pull off.

To make matters worse, the area where this event was planned simply wasn’t zoned for such activities.  It was strictly a light industrial area – without sidewalks in fact.  Allowing an event like this to go forward would have put people and property at risk.

The SAPD wasn’t fooling around with this one.  Commander Ken Gominsky showed up in force with 12 squad cars and seemingly 20 police officers.  It was quite impressive!  Fortunately the event organizers saw that it was game over and they folded up shop.

I spoke to a fellow named Russell Hornbeek, the President of a charity, “Music Saves Lives,” which was supposed to benefit from the event.  He wasn’t happy about the closure of the event but he said that they would try to find another location.

The event organizers posted this response on Facebook early this morning, “THE SHOW WILL GO ON!!! We are currently looking for a new warehouse to put the culture carnival on at. If anyone has any ideas of spots we could move the carnival to, email us at Tickets will be refunded in a day or two. Thank you to all who attempted to come out.”

I hope that they plan on getting a permit next time.  I mentioned to Hornbeek that the Yost Theater would be a good place to host the event.  But the Yost has been pretty well booked for some time.

This isn’t the first time this has happened.  In fact Archer Alstaetter, the East End promoter, held a “Zombie Walk” a few months ago – and according to my sources he did not pull an event permit.  I am told that won’t be happening again as the City’s Code Enforcement agency is now keeping a closer eye on the Downtown area.

The City of Santa Ana makes it easy to pull event permits.  They even have an entire web page devoted to this, at this link.  Here is what the site has to say about holding an event on private property:

What to do if the event is on private property

These events include sidewalk sales, radio station promotional broadcasts, carnivals or any activity not conducted within a building

  • Complete a Land Use Certificate Application. Obtain the property owner’s signature and attach a site plan showing how your event will be setup
  • Submit to the Planning Department Permit Counter located at City Hall. Allow 10 business days for processing
  • Land Use Certificate Application
  • Land Use Certificate Fees listed as category 1 or 2 on the form

If you have any further questions regarding private property special event permits please call 1 (714) 647-5804.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

5 thoughts on “Why the Culture Carnival got shut down by the SAPD”
  1. “He wasn’t happy about the closure of the event but he said that they would try to find another location.”….. Hmmmmmmm

    I hope that every reasonable thinking entrepreneurial would find another location, as far as possible from Pulido/ Walters regime.

    Lets Santa Ana become just a dust and dirt with with lot of green jobs like onion fields.

  2. Here goes your Pulido Jobs in DC.

    Instead making some money from ticket sale he spend at least $100,000 on the police force that night.

    FAQ: Do Latino Mayors like Pulido have any IQ?

  3. Here’s what the organizers sent me in an email (I bought tickets ahead of time).

    – –

    Dear Culture Carnival supporter,

    As I’m sure you found out, The Culture Carnival was shut down by police just before doors opened Friday night. There was a huge dispute as to whether or not we needed permits. The city planner of Santa Ana told us we did not need permits as long as the event was contained inside the building so we had planned to keep the event contained. After the cops showed up to shut us down for permits, and we told them we had talked to a city planner, they looked for a reason to shut us down and found out that the warehouse was considered vacant by the city. At this point we shut the doors and continued to deal with the cops late into the evening. We will be releasing a video in the next few days showing the art and space that the event was going to take place in.
    We are thoroughly disappointed that you did not have the opportunity to see the show that we had been working on for nearly 3 months. We are in the beginning stages of putting together the next show, which will be bigger and better. Most of the artists and bands are still on board for the next show and even more excited about it now that they saw the potential for the event. All this to say, we are more than willing to refund your ticket to The Culture Carnival but would also like to offer you to keep your five dollar ticket which will be valid at the next show (aiming for June of this year). We may raise the price to the next show but if you keep your ticket it will stay at five dollars. We could use the money for further funding of the next show to make it an even more incredible event. If you would like a refund, please email us at and we will happily refund you.

    We appreciate your support thus far and hope you will stick with us to the next event.

    The Culture Carnival

  4. If City Hall misled, then hopefully City Hall will make it right…whatever right may be. Although, I am unclear as to whether the police were OK with the no permits needed advice from the city planner and then they shut down for another reason (vacant building).

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