It’s a casual affair, with the artists right on the street amidst the hustle and bustle of the market. “This truly is an OB centric event,” said concert organizer, Michael Head. “It’s a live holiday soundtrack to the Farmer’s Market with the bonus that not only are many of the performers from the area, but items donated go directly to families in Ocean Beach, chosen by the OB Town Council.”
Folks can drop off cash, canned food or unwrapped toys to the donation box directly in front of the musician’s performance space. “Every little bit helps and can really make a difference, especially at this time of year,” Head said.
For Head, booking the event is a labor of love. “I like to think that the time of year brings out the best in people and this event is proof of that, musicians are often amongst the first to want to help out whenever there is a need,” he said good-naturedly. “Both the audience and the musicians taking part are donating to help the community.”
He notes that the music will include some variety. “Most of the performers will be playing holiday tunes, but not necessarily exclusively,” he said. While past years have included bands, this year’s event will be primarily acoustic. “It makes for a quick change over between artists,” Head remarked. “Many of the songs played will be classics everyone knows the words to, so having acoustic guitars helps give the event a sing-a-long vibe,” he said.
Artists set to take part include Travis Oliver (4 p.m.), Dave Gilbert (4:30 p.m.), Blossom and Bloom (5 p.m.), an All-Star Jam at 5:30 (p.m.) and Fast Heart Mart at (6 p.m.).
“The holidays are a really special time for everyone,” said bassist Spike Mike Muellenberg, who will take part in the All-Star Jam. The member of glam-rockers, The Spice Pistols, so revers the holiday, he has a signature Christmas tree always dangling from the head of his bass. “It’s wonderful to be able to give back to the community like this through making music. There is a tangible effect from playing and that feels good,” he said.
Martin Stamper of Fast Heart Mart agrees. “I think it’s nice to have an event to collect gifts for those less fortunate for the holiday season.”
Muellenberg notes that even winter’s arrival in San Diego doesn’t dent the good vibes at the Holiday Program. “It might get a little chilly out there in the evening, but everything going on at this event, from the music to the camaraderie, to the donations, will warm the heart.”
Head is proud to continue the Holiday Program. “OB is known for supporting events like this,” he said. “Music is always such a big part of the holiday and great for getting people into the spirit of giving, so putting this together each year is one of my favorite things.”
He considers another benefit to the event. “The music is always great and it’s wonderful to be able to help families in need, but there’s also a bonus in that so many old friends and familiar faces stop by throughout the show,” he said. “It all adds up to what is a magical evening.”
The OB Holiday Program: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market, Newport, and Bacon Ave. 4-8 p.m. All ages. Free. oceanbeachsandiego.com/events.