It is definitely summertime in the LBC, and many awesome upcoming SAM: Summer and Music events are happening all over downtown.
This very progressive organization hosts multiple functions, like “Sundays in the Park with SAM” (SIPS), the recent “Battle of the Tribute Bands” (June 18th), the “Long Beach Funk Fest” (August 20th), and “BuskerFest,” taking place in the East Village Arts District on August 27th.
These events are unique, family friendly, and all free!
The “SIPS” weekly affair makes great use of a city space few know about, the Promenade Square. With a grand opening last July, it’s a moderate-sized, urban park area between Broadway and Ocean Blvd, on the Promenade walkway.
This weekly event hosts local musicians and bands, beautiful art displays by Tim Dunham’s Some Things Creative, and encourages attendees to bring a picnic, making it a perfect event to host community members of all ages. Children can run around the grassy area, groups of friends can hang out, listen to the live bands and explore the area, and individuals and couples can enjoy each other and the art of their city. “SIPS” takes place every Sunday from 3-7 pm, June to August, at 133 The Promenade, with a lineup of different local musicians and artists each week.
The “Long Beach Funk Fest” is another fabulously fun downtown Long Beach event, and should be added to your calendar now, because it’s only one day, but one long day of funk! August 20th, Pine Ave and the surrounding streets will be filled with vendors, live art exhibits, multiple stages boasting live funk music from legendary musicians, and an estimated 12,000-15,000 attendees!
This is the third annual LBFF, with a goal to bring the funk community together, while also having the bulk of vendors and partners come from green companies and organizations. It will include Lil’ Big Ups kid’s group led by Lonnie ‘Meganut’ Marshall, as well as MC Rickey Vincent, renowned funk historian and author of “Funk-The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of the One,” and a full lineup of DJ’s, vendors, live artists, dancers, Kid’s Zone of Funkativity, and more. The LBFF also helps to raise funds towards music education in Long Beach, making it an all-ages, all-exciting, productive day of fun.
A Busker is an entertainer who performs for voluntary donations in the street, and on August 27th, musicians of all sorts will be doing so in the streets of the East Village Arts District for “BuskerFest.”
More than a dozen Long Beach bands and solo acts will be performing on street-side sets throughout the downtown district from 5 p.m. -11 p.m., with the main solar-powered stage at First St and Linden Ave, where the headliner will perform.
This is how the evening works: attendees arrive at 5 p.m. and are given a map of performances, and provided with wooden nickels to drop in the guitar cases of their favorite performances throughout the evening. As the night proceeds, the musicians are in competition with each other to collect the most wooden nickels and win a prize, declared after the headlining performance. Last year’s prize was five full days of recording time with Compound Studio and sound engineer Anthony Arvizu, owner of one of the most respected recording studios in Long Beach.
The schedule of performers has not yet been released, but be on the lookout to begin your excitement for the grand finale of SAM 2011, collectively titled "Music for the People, Powered by the Sun."
SAM is co-produced and sponsored by the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) in partnership with SAM co-founders Rand Foster and Justin Hectus.
To see more photos from some recent SIPS events like the one above taken by Tim Dunham, view these: