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Countdown to the Meltdown is on

Shwayze headlines May 23; Racer’s Edge signs on for ‘Ultimate Giveaway’ contest

Posted: May 9, 2009 8:17 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2009 4:59 a.m.

Here's the latest poster for the 6th annual Summer Meltdown concert at the Golden Valley High School amphitheater Saturday, May 23.

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With just 13 days to go, the countdown is on for the sixth annual "Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness and Social Inclusion Concert" Saturday, May 23 at the Golden Valley High School outdoor amphitheater in Newhall.

In the last week, concert organizers -- students with and without disabilities in the Yes I Can program at Hart district schools -- have finalized the talent lineup, scheduled the bands' set times, and launched ticket sales online and at a half-dozen locatiions around the Santa Clarita Valley.

Hip-hop/rap/indie rock duo Shwayze, whose 2008 debut CD for the SureTone/Geffen label hit No. 1 on the iTunes album chart, will headline the marathon 10-hour all-ages rock festival, which helps fund the nonprofit Yes I Can program throughout the school year.

Opening for Shwayze are Evidence is Here (Valencia); BLT (West Ranch High); Oh No Not Stereo (Los Angeles); Mission: Black (Santa Clarita); BlueSkyReality (Los Angeles, Universal/Motown); Kounterfeit Change (L.A., Higher Level Prods.); Renfue (Santa Clarita, Good Karma Music); Forrest Day (San Francisco); Boomkat featuring Taryn Manning from the well-known films "8 Mile" featuring Eminem and "Hustle and Flow" (Los Angeles); OPM (O.C., Suburban Noize); and The Dirty Heads (Huntington Beach, EMG/Universal).

"There will be surprise performances as well," said Bret Lieberman, Yes I Can program advisor at Golden Valley High and Summer Meltdown executive producer.

The amphitheater doors open at 12:30 p.m. and Evidence is Here hits the stage a half hour later to kick off the show.

Admission for the entire concert is $15 in advance at $20 at the door.

Tickets are on sale online via www.summermeltdown2009.com and at Chronic Tacos, Billy's Board Shop, Robek's (North Park location), World Music and Val Surf.

Proceeds will go to cover the costs of producing this year's Summer Meltdown. Anything left over will help fund the Yes I Can program throughout the school year and seed preparations for next year's event.

The Yes I Can students, who operate under the "Sick of Detention Productions" banner, have also lined up key sponsorships with organizations and local businesses to help put on the show.

They include Unite the United (substantial financial donation from the nonprofit offshoot of the Warped Tour); La Quinta Inn/Hyatt (band lodging); Andy Gump (sanitation facilities); St. John (wristbands); NLA (event T-shirts); Castaic Lake Water Agency; GVTV (video promo spots and coverage); Paige Photography; Robeks Noth Park (lights); U.S. (audio and lighting); Mountasia, Islands, Chronic Taco (fundraiser hosting); Access Passes (backstage passes); Jet Printing and B. Franklin Printhouse (posters and flyers); Keyboard Galleria; and Higher Level Productions (graphics and Web site design).

In addition to The Signal newspaper and The-Signal.com Web site, media sponsors include SCVTV and KHTS-AM 1220.

The Yes I Can kids are spreading the word about Summer Meltdown via flyers, posters, the radio, The Signal, the Web, and online via social networks including Twitter and Facebook.

The-Signal.com created an online contest, sponsored by Racer's Edge in Canyon Country. "The Racer's Edge Summer Meltdown Ultimate Giveaway" is free to enter at The-Signal.com (look under the "Contests" tab" on the home page), and a winner chosen at random will score a huge bag stuffed with free goodies.

Inside the ultimate bag of swag are four tickets, four backstage passes, four event T-shirts and four food vouchers, plus a copy of the latest CD by each of the Summer Meltdown bands and more.

The winner also gets photo and autograph opportunities with the bands at the concert, an on-stage presentation of the swag bag at Summer Meltdown, press coverage in The Signal newspaper and The-Signal.com, and a free one-year subscription to The Signal's home-delivered newspaper.

Yes I Can has made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of Hart district special-needs students -- most of whom are diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome, which deeply inhibits communication and social skills -- as well as their general education mentors.

As part of their course studies each year, Yes I Can students produce the Summer Meltdown festival, which provides a multitude of opportunities for the students to develop social and professional skills that benefit them in school and outside the classroom.

"Students with and without disabilities can connect through the love of music as it is truly the most universal language," Lieberman said.

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