The Long Beach music scene is about to turn all the way up next month as the return of Happy Sundays brings a full day of free music, art, comedy and camaraderie to the streets and bars it calls home. On Sunday, August 26, the 1.5 mile stretch of bars, businesses and live music venues in the city’s Zaferia District will become ground zero for an ultimate weekend party in the spirit of spotlighting a community on the rise. Featuring performances from Jake Snider of Minus the Bear, The Shrine, Audacity, Caught a Ghost, White Woods, Death Valley Girls, comedy from Vince Royale and many more, this full day event spread across eight local venues is the next step in Happy Sundays’ growth since it was started by Scott and Julia Montoya of Get Bent Entertainment in 2017. Considering both of their extensive histories as musicians (Scott is the former drummer and co-founding member of the Growlers and Julia fronts Atlanta/SoCal punk band The Coat Hangers), Happy Sundays came out of their idea to create their perfect day of music free from the more depressing, routine elements of festival culture. Finding their own format that supports their local businesses designed by and for the people of LBC was the goal since day one.
With the help of OC Weekly and SoCal event producer Jeanne Rice of Indie Ignited, the pair have tackled the upcoming music festival, now in its third installment, with a determination to bring a wide range of artists together in the neighborhood they love.
“We intend to make this an annual event where we showcase local, regional and national talent with our community. The festival has been fortunate enough to partner with wonderful people and have the support of sponsors we believe in” Julia says. “Like Boxed Water, who is committed to changing the way we think about plastic waste and Golden Road Brewery who is donating a portion of beer sales to Studios For Schools, Scott’s non-profit. Unlike other fests where water can cost up to $7, Boxed Water will be giving water out for free to attendees! To me, that about sums up the ethos behind HAPPY SUNDAYS.”
In addition to a full roster of artists at staples like Alex’s Bar, DiPiazza’s, and Iguana Kelly’s, Happy Sundays is also celebrating with various music-focused art and photography exhibitions, guest panel discussions, and boutique vendor areas at The Long Beach Playhouse and Los Altos Park (which features performances from the young musicians of The Rok Academy and Jelly of the Month Club. The shows are all ages at most of the venues.
In between sets that will be staggered throughout the day to give the event an even flow and natural progression, transportation between venues will be provided by Long Beach Trolley–save those feet, you’ll need them to dance away that Saturday night hangover.
More than just an excuse to party, this year’s Happy Sundays was designed with the goal of creating a grassroots event that’s as fun, chill and free-flowing as the community that fosters it. For a better idea of what’s in store, check out the flier and the promo video below. To stay informed RSVP for event updates, follow Happy Sundays on social media Instagram @happysundayslbc and go to their website www.happysundayslbc.com.
Nate Jackson is the gatekeeper to your dreams of local dive bar stardom. If he writes about you, expect your band to be offered at least one more drink ticket than the rest of the bands on the bill. Get his attention with some groovy tunes and he might just do it. Then, boy will you feel special.