Buskerfest Celebrates Art in Public Places for 5th Year in Downtown LB

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Buskerfest 2013

Buskerfest returns to Long Beach for 5th year in August 2013.

Buskerfest, the darling of the Downtown Long Beach Associates’ (DLBA) Summer and Music (SAM) Series, will take place Saturday, August 17 from 5-11pm at the corner of 1st Street and Linden Avenue in Downtown’s East Village. The free, all-ages event will close out the popular summer concert series for 2013.

Marking the fifth year for Buskerfest, the event has expanded its home-grown feel. As in previous years, twelve local and regional bands will perform on four stages set up on flatbed trucks with minimal plugged-in equipment. The original intent of the “low tech” production was to pay homage to street corner musicians, while challenging artists that are accustomed to full stage production to reinvent themselves by stripping out the production, and focus on the music and their connection with the audience. 

Explains event co-founder Rand Foster, “There’s very little that resembles your typical concert staging and equipment. It’s just the artists, their music, and the fans in attendance. So, Buskerfest really embodies the vision of SAM — ‘music for the people by the people.”

Buskerfest is also a salute to the act of busking, or playing music in public spaces for tips. At Buskerfest, however, the “tips” are wooden nickels handed out to attendees, who in turn give them to their favorite acts. The act that collects the most nickels will win a prize package designed to help them further their career. Past prizes include studio recording time, vinyl pressing of their album, and a merchandise set-up, including t-shirts, posters, and tote bags.

The good-natured competition has previously drawn thousands of spectators who cheer for their favorite acts and dance along to the music. Justin Hectus, another event co-founder, adds, “One of the best parts of Buskerfest is the close connection between the acts and fans who directly participate in the event by ‘voting’ for their favorite bands. It’s a celebration of musicians and music lovers and theperfect ending to our summer concert series.”

The East Village Arts District location caters to the event’s vibe. Shares Kraig Kojian, President and CEO of the DLBA, “Buskerfest’s celebration of new and local acts is perfectly suited for the East Village, which is known for its independent, eclectic, and emerging art scene.”

The festivities will culminate with the post-Buskerfest dancing in the streets magic hour with DJ Lithuanian Price, which has become a perennial summer favorite in Downtown Long Beach. Food vendors, a beer garden, and free bike valet will also be on site. A complete event schedule and map is available at summerandmusic.com

New to Buskerfest is the opportunity for community organizations and businesses to support the event through stage sponsorships. To learn more about these promotional opportunities, contact the DLBA at 562.436.4259.

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