Music lovers can enjoy reggae, country, jazz funk and more at a benefit concert Saturday, Aug. 28, for communities and animals impacted by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
University of Central Florida students organized the “Give for the Gulf” benefit concert and festival, which will be held from noon to 7 p.m. on Memory Mall, the grassy area of campus across from the UCF Arena.
The event will feature several Central Florida-based musical acts, including the reggae jam band Illegal Beats and the jazz funk group Shak Nasti, as well as food vendors and other booths. Maida Vale and country music artists Glenn Cummings and Raiford Starke are among the other scheduled performers.
Tickets will be available the day of the festival. They are $7 for college students with IDs and for guests ages 18 and under and 55 and over. Admission will be $15 for all others. Free parking will be available in Garage D, across from the UCF Arena, for guests arriving before 6 p.m.
UCF’s Alpha Tau Omega Eta Rho fraternity chapter organized the festival. The chapter’s brothers are no strangers to benefit concerts — they host an annual holiday show called “Rock the Wreath” to raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Chapter leaders say “Give for the Gulf” is a much-needed call to action for Central Floridians, and they hope students and the community will support the important cause.
“The oil spill was — and still is — a national crisis,” said Patrick McConachie, the festival’s event coordinator and marketing director. “We decided that we need to help in any way we can.”
All proceeds from “Give for the Gulf” will benefit charities involved with oil spill cleanup efforts, animal rescues and aid for Gulf families, including GreaterGood.org, Mote Marine Laboratory, the Surfrider Foundation, the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
Since the April BP oil spill, many members of the UCF community have been involved with awareness and research efforts.
Student organizations have educated others about eco-friendly ways to reduce petroleum use. UCF staff members have organized donation drives for gulf aid, including the Pinellas County-based Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary’s coastal cleanup efforts.
UCF’s research related to the oil spill includes the development of radiation technology that could destroy environmentally harmful chemicals and a study of rising sea level that could help identify how remaining oil could travel through and impact sensitive ecosystems.
In addition, UCF is part of a statewide university task force responding to the disaster, and UCF biologists are collecting data on how to save the fragile oyster reef ecosystems along Florida’s East Coast should the oil threaten them.
For this weekend’s “Give for the Gulf” concert, sponsorship and vendor opportunities are still available, and the fraternity also has set up an online donation system.
To give, check out a full list of performing bands or find additional information, go to http://www.ucfgivesforthegulf.org. For more information, call 305-807-5100.