DLBA and RDA’s annual Summer And Music (SAM) series returns to downtown Long Beach with unique, solar-powered focus

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summer-and-music SAM concerts downtownJustin Hectus, co-founder of Schooled in Song, and Rand Foster, owner of popular local record shop Fingerprints, partner with the city once again to coordinate Long Beach’s free, all-ages summer of sun and song.

After a huge success last year, Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) are bringing Summer And Music (SAM)-the city’s homegrown, sustainable concerts series providing an entire summer of free music to the public-back to the streets of downtown Long Beach this coming June for a solar-powered sequel.

The itinerary for SAM 2010 features 13 eclectic music events, including some favorites from last year, such as Battle of the Tribute Bands and Funk Fest.  Concerts will span the genres of folk, jazz, pop, rockabilly, funk and beyond, bringing together artists and art enthusiasts of all kinds.  Classical Beats for example, will be an innovative August show bridging the gap between classical string arrangements and hip hop overdubs, set to the scene of public art displays.

Showcasing a renewed focus on environmental concerns, all concerts will be held on self-contained solar-powered stages. The DLBA and RDA, in conjunction with SAM founding members, are partnering with Sustainable Waves-an Austin-based all-solar staging, lighting and sound company offering 100 percent pollution-free concerts. Even the stage banners will be made from soy-based ink and Bioflex-biodegradable vinyl that dissolves into salt when exposed to landfill conditions.

Other green initiatives include alternative transportation options for SAM 2010 attendees, like bicycle valet parking during the events (Courtesy of Long Beach Cyclists) and pedicab service for patrons who would like to cruise down Pine Avenue in a bicycle taxi for a bite to eat after a show.

Voted “Best Music Festival” in 2009 by the OC Weekly, and winning Long Beach a Sociable City Award for Outstanding Achievement in Vibrancy from Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) last November, SAM is a truly unique public/private partnership between city resources and the local creative community.

“The Summer and Music concert series is part of the Redevelopment Agency’s commitment to improving the quality of life for Long Beach residents,” stated RDA Executive Director Amy Bodek.

“Additionally, by attracting tens of thousands of concert goers to the downtown, we’re able to help the local businesses, which helps to revitalize the area.”

Kraig Kojian, DLBA president and CEO, further acknowledged that this joint venture is singular to Long Beach and is also excited to have his organization play such a central role in enlivening both the city’s arts community and small businesses simultaneously.

“It’s a rare and wonderful opportunity to sponsor such a unique, revitalizing project,” Kojian said. “The DLBA is proud to partake in this imaginative, community engaging series. We hope to make it a tradition, not just for Long Beach, but for cities across the nation.”

To that end, SAM is a homegrown development on all fronts. It’s founded by two Long Beach residents with strong musical connections to the city: Justin Hectus, founder of Schooled In Song, and Rand Foster, owner of popular local record shop Fingerprints. SAM features a stockpile of local and regional talent, including Long Beach musicians, photographers, graphic designers and media professionals. And, it generates enormous support from and revenue for local businesses and community organizations. In short, Summer And Music is of the people and for the people.

For more information on SAM concerts series visit the Summer And Music website.

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