Buskerfest—a tradition that ends the Summer and Music (SAM) series each year—is a Long Beach legend of sorts. And rightfully so: its lustrous roster of those who have graced the Buskerfest stage include the Cold War Kids, Delta Spirit, Everest, Beachwood Sparks, Chicano Batman, Sam Outlaw, and Tijuana Panthers.

When the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) was approached by Beach Streets to program the DTLB portion of the car-free event, bringing Buskerfest to a larger audience seemed a given. Which is why Buskerfest curator hand Fingerprints Music owner Rand Foster has tapped Matt Costa to headline the event, taking place at 4th & Linden in DTLB from 10AM to 5PM.

“When this was coming together, I had to think of who I wanted,” Foster said, “and in all honesty, I always think of Matt every year when we do Buskerfest for SAM. I hope every year, every summer that some day, we’ll have him. He’s a friend and he’s done of a ton of stuff in our store but the late summer [when Buskerfest occurs] just never works out for him.”

Costa is no stranger to SAM, having performed at the summer series’ inaugural Dancin’ in the Streets event in 2013, where he shared a stage with Nick Waterhouse.

Joining Costa will be a pack of musicians that includes local Dustin Lovelis, Long Beach-based folk’n’blues duo Queen Califia, Costa Mesa indie outfit Ellie Mae & The Ricochets and DJ Vinnnie Toma spinning in between band sets.

Set times:

  • 10:00 -11:30 DJ Vinnie Toma
  • 11:30 – 12:30 Queen Califia
  • 12:30 – 1:00 DJ Vinnie Toma
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Dustin Lovelis
  • 2:00 – 2:30 DJ Vinnie Toma
  • 2:30 – 3:30 Matt Costa
  • 3:30 – 4:00 DJ Vinnie Toma
  • 4:00- 5:00 Ellie Mae & the Ricochets

Inspired by the street musicians known as buskers, this annual tradition asks local musicians to perform low-tech, stripped-down sets while vying for wooden nickels from audience members. Attendees vote for their favorite bands with wooden nickels and the act that collects the most nickels will win a prize package designed to help them further their career.