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Todos Santos Plaza Concert Fundraiser on April 15

This Sunday's Battle of the Bands in Concord benefits beloved Outdoor Concert Series; offers possible cure for summertime blues

It’s no secret that times are tough for businesses and redevelopment programs. One long-standing program in particular is on the brink of having to end if not for the support and generosity of East Bay residents.It has been around for 24 years, but many fear that the Music and Market concert series in downtown Concord may be coming to a close. Statewide redevelopment cuts have hurt many programs, including Music and Market, and have left their fates up to the support of the community and local businesses.

This weekend’s special “Save Our Series” benefit gala is a great way for Concordians and East Bay residents to support a long-running, family-friendly program. On April 15, the CBS-5 Eyewitness Blues BandChannel 5 Eyewitness Blues Band will compete against PUSHPUSH, which features ABC- 7’s Dan Ashley, in a rock-and-roll clash at the Brenden Theater. Annie Sampson, the local blues diva, will also perform. 

“Todos Santos is the cultural, economic, community heart of Concord,” explains Florence Weiss, the Downtown Program Manager for the City of Concord. “More than  200,000 people visit Todos Santos each year, and without this program, a lot of businesses will suffer. We’re so grateful to these bands for playing for free.”

A welcoming reception starts at 4pm at Agave Grill and Cantina, and will feature food, wine, beer, and service donated by Agave, Old Spaghetti Factory, and Tower Grille. Gordon Clarke, owner of Tower Grille in Concord and Danville, is excited about keeping the program going: “I hope this gala event wakes people up to the fact that the Music and Market program is suffering. With the lack of redevelopment funds, we could lose music for the downtown, which will really affect a lot of businesses. I’m excited to be there, to support the cause with my food.”

This truly feels like a community event. In addition to those three restaurants, we also have Mr. Kim, the owner of the Hot Dog Palace, donating $1,000 for the cause and hoping to encourage business owners around the square to keep the program going. Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Rachel Dunn Chocolates are providing intermission coffee and dessert, as well.

Virginia Thomas, President of the Todos Santos Business Association, thinks that “S.O.S” event will bring the community together to support such an important program: “I think this event will bring recognition that we need community and/or business sponsorship to keep it all going. We’re throwing a great gala in our backyard. We’re getting a lot of interest already, which makes us very excited about it all.”

“Save our Series” benefit gala; Sunday April 15; Brenden Theatres (1935 Willow Pass Road, Concord, 94520) and Agave Grill and Cantina (1985 Galindo Street, Concord, 94520); 4-8pm; tickets are $100 and can be purchased ahead of time or at the door; www.communityconcerts.com.