After nearly two decades of rock and roll for a good cause, the Sunset Beach annual August bash will be back on stage after a two-year COVID break, organizer Barbara D’Angelo said this week.
Each year since 2003, D’Angelo has rocked the stage with tribute bands representing acts like Led Zeppelin and The Doors to raise money for community projects.
Her event, entitled the “Electric Magic Classic Rock Beachfest,” will return to the Firehouse in Sunset Beach (12th Street & PCH) on Saturday, August 20, from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., she said.
D’Angelo said popular tribute group Led Zeppland will be back on stage, featuring Shawn Kelly belting the greatest lyrics of Robert Plant along with “Strange Days,” a tribute band featuring the music of The Doors.
“It is with a heavy heart that I resume this year,” said an emotional D’Angelo, noting that many friends of the event, including her brother-in-law Tony Del Rosario, died of COVID during the two-year pause.
“Tony was always there,” she said, “he’s been there since the beginning.” She said Del Rosario was a former rocker who loved Classic Rock and drove to Sunset Beach each year from Nevada to take part in the event.
“He would always sell a bunch of tickets and then take his place behind the bar as a bartender,” she said.
“I didn’t want to do it,” she said when friends asked her about resuming the event. “I thought stopping it would be easier than moving forward,” said D’Angelo.
“But then I heard from so many people,” she said. “It’s a beautiful thing,” she added.
“So we are going to keep going,” said D’Angelo, noting that the Classic Rock fundraiser will be back on stage August 20 honoring Tony and all of the victims of COVID who died during the pandemic.
“Bring the music and people will come,” D’Angelo said Tony used to tell her.
She said the world has changed so much during the pandemic that “I’m not sure how it will be received but I’m dedicated to make it happen.”
Over the years, D’Angelo has donated thousands of dollars to a variety of nonprofit groups and other causes that affect the Sunset Beach community. She said Sunset Beach has been her home for approximately 35 years and many supporters of the event have encouraged her to resume the ‘Electric Magic’ event.
“Tony’s words still rumble through my head,” D’Angelo said. He would say, ‘the show must go on.’
For tickets or information, call (562) 260-7131.