secret_santa_121213Five years ago we noticed that there were many promoters, bookers, and venues holding “charity shows” that benefited various local organizations around the holidays. They leverage the fact that it is a charity show and get all the bands to play for free and everyone involved to donate their time, with the promise that all donations collected will go to their charity of choice.

The problem is many times those donations NEVER make it to the charity that everyone showed up to support. We saw that there was no accountability for these promoters, bookers, and venues when it came time to make the actual donation to the charity and decided to start our own holiday tradition called “Secret Santa’s Toy Drive” where we follow your donations with video all the way to the actual people that are lining up at 6am to receive them.

For the past 4 years Long Beach Independent has held the Secret Santa’s Toy Drive at various locations throughout Long Beach, CA and every year we follow those donations with video to our local charity of choice: Christian Outreach in Action. The videos tend to speak for themselves when you see almost 1,800 of your neighbors that are in need lined up around the block for hours waiting to be part of COA’s very special Holiday party.

Here is the recap video from our 4th annual show at Di Piazzas last year:

Please join us on Thursday, December 12th at Alex’s Bar (2913 E. Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA) starting at 8pm for our 5th annual show. We have asked some of the best local talent to donate their time for a good, local cause and invited the whole city to come don their ugliest of ugly holiday sweaters and bring a toy to donate.

This year’s lineup of local bands includes Thinking Aloud (who just reunited after 5 years on hiatus, previously being one of the most popular rock bands in Long Beach), Rudy De Anda (of Wild Pack of Canaries who has just debuted his solo project), Bearwulf (unsigned up-and-comers on the local music scene) and a special acoustic set by Nima Kazerouni (of acclaimed band So Many Wizards)

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About the Author

Shea Newkirk

Executive Editor, Long Beach Independent

Shea has been involved in the Long Beach music scene since 2003 helping to promote unsigned, independent bands and musicians through various media including photos, video, event production, and marketing. Founder of and Folk Revival Festival as well as a musician with over 15 years experience, Shea has a great ear for finding the best independent music coming out of the local Long Beach music scene.

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