Bands to Battle for Opening Slot for Cold War Kids

(PR) Live music will hit the sidewalks of the East Village Arts District (of Long Beach, Ca) on Friday, Aug. 21, from 6p.m. to 11 p.m., as local bands play for wooden nickels, cash prizes and a chance to open up for Cold War Kidsófresh off the plane from a tour of international summer music festivals.

A handful of bands-turned-buskers will play 25 minute, outdoor sets for a roving audience that will drop wooden nickels into the guitar cases of their favorite acts. Skirting the EVAD's perimeter in six different locations, performers will play in three rounds of stripped-down, acoustic-style sets sure to resonate off the historic buildings, downtown restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

Confirmed street performers at press time include Free Moral Agents, Deep Sea Diver, So Many Wizards, Chris Paul Overall, Pawn Shop Kings, Brook Lee Catastrophe, Forcefield ON and 60 Watt Kid, to name a few.

FREE to the public, this outdoor festival made possible by the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) and Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA) allows you to stroll along the art deco streets of the East Village on foot; leave your cars at home, and bike it (there's free bicycle valet parking, courtesy of Long Beach Cyclists).

At 6 p.m., Busker Fest information booths will open, giving attendees a chance to collect wooden nickels, maps, and schedules for the different performances. The first round of busking will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a second at 7:30 p.m. and a final round at 8 p.m. As the audience makes their way to the main stage, judges will tally the wooden nickel counts and declare a winner.

The group with the most wooden nickels by the night's end wins $1,000 cash prize and gets to open up for Cold War Kids at 9 p.m., on the main stage at the corner of First Street and Elm Avenue.

The release of two hit recordsó"Robbers and Cowards" in 2006 and "Loyalty to Loyalty" in 2008ócoupled with relentless touring has led Cold War Kids to indie rock fame. Last month, they were playing all across Europe to sold-out crowds, ending on a high note this month at Chicago's Lollapalooza, and sliding into Long Beach out of the kindness of their hollow body guitars, just in time to headline Busker Fest.

Speaking of Busker Fest, it is just one of 40 free shows and events hosted by Summer and MusicóDowntown Long Beach's re-vamped summer music series sponsored by Downtown Long Beach Associates and Long Beach Redevelopment Agency.

The DLBA and RDA understand that there is too much incredible local music to ignore. So, they've partnered with two local event-savvy music gurusóJustin Hectus (co-founder of Schooled In Song) and Rand Foster (owner of popular Belmont Shore record shop Fingerprints)óto plan this summer of stellar sound.

And in case you've been under a rock for the last couple of years, Cold War Kids are the most recent band to stake Long Beach out as musical hot-bed. FREE shows from them are getting less common by the day. So stop by Busker Fest, toss a few wooden nickels yourself and help these street performers declare their "right of pitch!"

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