The Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) are bringing Summer And Music (SAM), the city’s homegrown, sustainable concert series providing an entire summer of free music to the public, back to the streets of Downtown Long Beach this coming June.
This year SAM will be a “greatest hits” season, including three large-scale music events that are back by popular demand, Battle of the Tribute Bands, Long Beach Funk Fest and BuskerFest, as well as 12 intimate Sunday shows.
“The SAM concert series has quickly become a community tradition,” said DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian. “The DLBA is proud and excited to be a part of this unique and engaging series that highlights local artists, and we look forward to continuing this wonderful event for years to come.”
The free, all-ages series features numerous outstanding acts at various eco-conscious outdoor venues throughout the Downtown region. The Sunday afternoon shows, suitably titled Sundays in the Park with SAM (SIPS), will feature local favorites and family-friendly events like bocce ball every Sunday from June to August at the Promenade Square park, located at the intersection of First Street and the Promenade.
“We were just getting our bearings for the first season of SAM,” said Rand Foster, owner of Fingerprints Records and co-organizer of the events. “And though the goals were very ambitious, we had some great successes with small, street-side shows and big events alike. Last year, we produced 13 large-scale themed events, each having its own charm. But this year, we’ve taken into consideration feedback from the community and are presenting the best of both of those experiences.”
New this year, SAM is partnering with local artist Tim Dunham of Some Things Creative to feature portable art displays at the Sunday showcase, exhibiting the work of numerous local artists.
Maintaining a focus on environmental concerns, all large-scale events will be conducted on self-contained solar-powered stages. The DLBA and RDA, in conjunction with SAM’s founding members, are partnering with Sustainable Waves, a San Diego- and Austin-based all-solar staging, lighting and sound company offering 100-percent pollution-free concerts.
The series also encourages mass transit and other alternative forms of transportation (valet bike parking will even be provided throughout the summer for all those who pedal to the events). SAM 2011 is further attempting to be a carbon-neutral festival by completely offsetting its carbon footprint and will also mitigate event-related waste and emphasize on-site recycling.