This year radio station 98.7 will sponsor the 8th Annual Summer Meltdown for autism awareness taking place Saturday May 21st at Golden Valley High School.
The Summer Meltdown is planned , prepared and produced by students. The kids make it happen every year by doing everything from contacting mangers,vendors, bands and radio stations. The Meltdown has been staged for eight consecutive years by Yes I Can, stressing, “Unity Through Music and Education.” All money raised at the event benefits Yes I Can which helps pay for field trips, next year’s Meltdown and fulfilling the kids wish list of bands they would like to see perform in Santa Clarita.
Music at the Meltdown can range anywhere from high school bands, upcoming local bands and even professional bands on major labels. Past headlining bands have included Shwayze, Iration , The Dirty Heads, Fishbone, Far East Movement and Valencia bands’ Kounterfeit Change and Kid Force.
This year’s show features one main stage and two side stages. Not only will the sound, lighting and effects be bigger than previous year’s, but the main stage will be bigger than ever. The main stage will feature headlining punk/rock band Unwritten Law along with co-headliners reggae/rock band Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds. Throughout the night, D.J. Soulman will be performing, and also expect a special guest appearance from P-Nut of 311. The “Yes I Can” side stage will feature a mix of student and professional bands while the “Mix Master” stage will feature various D.J.s’ throughout the night.
Brett Lieberman, the executive director of Summer Meltdown and teacher of Autism/Aspergers Program at Golden Valley High School, has played a huge role in putting on the Meltdown since it originated in 2003. “It is the utmost stressful/beautiful thing I have ever been associated with,” Lieberman said. Lieberman also wants people to see the students for who they are and wants people to realize, “Just because they have a disability they don’t love music less than anyone else.”
“We love to play live, it’s what we live for,” said singer Moi Juarez of Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds. “But the thing that really satisfies my soul is playing benefit shows like the Summer Meltdown because of the unity it brings to the people and the greater cause of it all.. making others happy, which in turn makes us happy and also inspires us to make the music we make.”
As far as the future for the Meltdown, the sky is the limit. Goals for the Meltdown include transitioning the festival into a multiple date festival spreading awareness into more states and communities. Lastly, the Meltdown strives to get bands like Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park and Green Day off student’s super wish list and on stage at future Meltdowns.
With the support of 98.7, this year’s Meltdown is expecting an average 1,500 people with the possibility of selling out. Tickets can be purchased for presale online at summermeltdown2011.com. Tickets available on the day of the show will be $30 at the door. The concert takes place at the Golden Valley Amphitheater, located at 27051 Robert C. Lee Pkwy, Santa Clarita.