Animals, Berlin to headline city's 60th anniversary

It's going to be a comeback special of sorts for one band that 45 years ago played in Costa Mesa and wasn't invited back.

Eric Burdon and the Animals performed during the 1968 Newport Pop Festival, a fabled two-day event reputed to have attracted more than 100,000 attendees to the Orange County Fairgrounds, either with a proper ticket or over the fences.

Now the English band — whose 1960s hits included "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" — is coming to the fairgrounds again as part of Costa Mesa's 60th anniversary celebration June 28 to 30.

"The Costa Mesa mayor at the time vowed never to allow that kind of concert again in Costa Mesa," Mike Scheafer, chairman of the city's 60th Anniversary Planning Committee, said in a prepared statement. "We think nearly half a century is enough time to have passed to allow Eric Burdon and the Animals back into our city."

Burdon will be joined by follow headliners Chevy Metal — featuring members of the Foo Fighters — and Berlin during the weekend festival with three stages, classic car show, art walk and children's zone, according to a city news release.

The OC Tastefest is also planned, featuring more than 30 restaurants.

Festival events are free except for concerts on the main stage, according to a news release. Beginning May 6 at, three-day passes are on sale for $50. One-day passes are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

For the festival, the section Fair Drive in front of City Hall and Vanguard University — specifically between Fairview Road and Newport Boulevard — will be closed. A public meeting about the closure is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 16 at the Council Chambers within City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

The celebration, whose slogan is "60 & Fabulous," celebrates Costa Mesa's 60th year of being incorporated. Other city events throughout the year, such as annual Fish Fry and Costa Mesa Community Run, plan to incorporate 60th anniversary festivities as well.

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