BACKGROUND & MISSION
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, much of The Florida Keys were left devastated when the full force of a Category 4 hurricane barreled over our tiny island chain.
As we returned to the islands after the mandatory evacuation was lifted, it became clear that rebuilding would be a long and arduous task. Houses were flattened, boats sunk, trees toppled and hearts were broken.
And while the national media outlets were onto the next news cycle a week after we were down and out, slowly we rebuilt in the shadow of the next national tragedy.
Then, amongst the devastation, something amazing happened. We banded together, helped our neighbors and pushed forward with little outside aid or support.
The Florida Keys are a special place where people live at a slower pace and where the community is more important than the individual. The post-storm atmosphere was a proving ground for this way of life.
Two months later, there's still so much to do. Houses don't get rebuilt in a few weeks and dreams don't get mended in a matter of months.
But hurricane season does come to an end every year on November 30th, and if nothing else, that's a reason to celebrate. So, for two nights in Key West — when the "coast is clear" — we, at COAST, are doing what we've done so many times over the past few years. We're bringing the community together for a night of good times and great music in the company of our best friends and neighbors.
It will be a momentary respite for those still dealing with the aftermath of the storm, but they are the ones who deserve it more than anyone.
And with this Kickstarter campaign, we can all help!
At the moment, we have confirmed an amazing lineup of performers to play for two nights at small and intimate venues around Key West. From nationally acclaimed touring artists G. Love, Langhorne Slim, Rayland Baxter and Rorey Carroll, to local favorites Patrick and The Swayzees and The Skank, hurricane season will surely close with a bang on the island.
Aside from confirming the artists, we have nailed down a handful of iconic Key West live music venues — all with loads of old Key West character and great atmosphere. From The Green Parrot and Blue Heaven in the Bahama Village neighborhood to The Hogfish and COAST on Stock Island, these are true island institutions that will offer a rare opportunity to see such talent in a small and intimate setting.
Beyond the music and atmosphere, we have already designed our official concert t-shirts and started printing. All t-shirts are printed in-house, by hand, using a 30 year-old press, then dried outside in the Key West sunshine — so really that just means you're going to love them!
After two months of hard work and rebuilding, the folks of The Florida Keys need something to look forward to. So that is our main goal as we wave goodbye to the 2017 hurricane season. We want our friends and neighbors to spend a night or two around the island listening to great music at our favorite places.
Our campaign is set up for both locals and folks around the world to help out in their own way. Buy a t-shirt or ticket for yourself — or sponsor a local's weekend pass. If you don't live here, but can't imagine missing an event like this, hop on the next flight and meet us for the party — but remember, most of us came down here on a whim and never ended up leaving. So just be ready for that, too...
With regards to purchasing and sponsoring ticket for others, here's the deal...
There are lots of folks down here who lost so much. Some lost it all. These are the people who need a break but might not be able to afford or justify the cost of a ticket. And these are exactly the people you can sponsor with tickets and passes. We will go to the areas hardest hit by the storm, round up folks who want to attend and bus them in for the night so they can enjoy themselves and not have to worry about anything.
Finally, along that thread, while we aren't a non-profit, after the concert expenses are paid for, we're going to use the proceeds to help the folks down here who need it the most. So you can smile knowing that beyond your reward, part of your pledge is going to rebuilding our Florida Keys community.
Risks and challenges
All events carry an element of risk, but since starting our live music concert series in 2013, we have hosted more than a few dozen concerts — each one bigger and more ambitious than the last.
This concert is already well into production. We have confirmed the performers, secured the venues and even started ticket sales. But we are looking to raise as much as we can, so that we can make a bigger impact in the community.
And that's where you come in! The more backers who get involved, the more money we can raise for the community...
As for our reward fulfillment, we print all of our apparel in-house on trusty equipment using time-honored techniques. If we have to, we'll work around the clock to get these screened, packed and out the door on time.
If you're buying photos and prints, have a look at our Instagram feed to get a feel for our style.
And if you plan on coming down on the "Weekend Getaway" we'll hook you up with one of the many hotels we collaborate with.
I can't say nothing can go wrong, but I can say we've done this all before, so rest-assured you're backing a project that has a solid foundation to begin with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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