Downtown music festival to raise funds for, awareness of homeless population
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Nearly a dozen Amarillo and regional bands will join forces for a three-day music festival aimed at supporting Amarillo's homeless population.
The Community Rocks IV Festival kicks off with a pre-party at 7 p.m. Thursday at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant, 727 S. Polk St., then continues with two days of music Friday and Saturday at Tom & Jerry's Sports Bar and Grill, 715 S. Polk St.
The event is the fourth charity-driven music festival organized by Amarillo rocker and chiropractor Jack Mustard; previous concerts have served as book and toy drives.
This year's festival will benefit Amarillo Housing First, a new nonprofit dedicated to finding housing for homeless men, women and families in the city.
"We were only a concept in mid-December, and by Dec. 29, we had registered as a nonprofit," executive director Chris Seright said. "We believe that housing is a basic human right and putting people in homes is a simple solution to homelessness.
"We meet with them on at least a weekly basis and make sure they're meeting their personal goals," Seright said.
The organization assigns a case manager to each client to help them navigate through "the multiple, multiple steps it takes to get them back on their feet," Mustard said.
"We're helping, I believe, streamline the process for the other organizations" who deal with homelessness in Amarillo, Seright said.
Seright first became involved with homeless initiatives when he campaigned against a city camping ordinance that targeted the homeless in 2016.
"My wife and I camped with the homeless on the streets. We got to know the people and their stories. We became part of their lives, and they became part of our lives," Seright said. "You can't stop helping once you start. There is no end because there is so much work to be done."
Funds raised through ticket and raffle sales will help the organization finding housing; Seright said the group spends $500 per client to get them into temporary, then permanent housing.
"We've done a lot with very little money," he said. "Every $500 we raise, that represents one person or one family that's able to get into housing."
Thursday's pre-party will feature a meet-and-greet with the bands, giveaways and raffle tickets, as well as food and drink specials at the restaurant.
Friday's lineup includes:
- Colton Clarkson at 8 p.m.;
- Loudmouth Lisa at 9:15 p.m.;
- Hed Change at 10:30 p.m.; and
- Lifeless 2 Life at 11:45 p.m.
Saturday's lineup includes:
- Open jam with Colton Clarkson at 3 p.m.;
- Lindi Willis at 4 p.m.;
- Richard Mittelstet at 5 p.m.;
- Jen Williams & The Potty Mouths at 6 p.m.;
- The Fwoops at 7 p.m.;
- Mustard at 8:30 p.m.;
- Danny Ruiz & Gypsy Renegade at 10 p.m.; and
- Divided Me at 11:15 p.m.
Thursday's party is free; a $10 ticket buys admission to both Friday and Saturday.