In a city like Long Beach that has long harbored a tenuous relationship with live music (aka it's hard to find places with the permits play it and rarely does the city make it easy to host festivals that feature it), an entirely free summer series that brings music to the streets sounds like downright insanity.
|First-year Buskerfest winners Pawn Shop Kings|
For the last five years, however, the Downtown Long Beach Associates--a nonprofit organization funded by residents and businesses in the dowtown area--has put on Summer and Music, a series of four events over four months that each feature local bands, food and beer in a themed, often family-friendly setting.
Though some of the events have changed concepts, locations and genres over the years, constants like Buskerfest (a good-natured competition which pits small-time bands against each other in the East Village Arts District) and Funkfest (with acts like Charles Wright and Fred Wesley, James Brown's bandleader) has helped Summer and Music be thrice named OC Weekly's Best Music Festival.
This summer, local music fans can expect more of the same and some of the different, according to the lineup for SAM's sixth iteration, released Thursday. Notably missing is Funkfest, which last year had to move to a ticketed system and this year will be a Queen Mary event held on September 1. Below are the four SAM events coming to Long Beach streets this summer:More »