CityScape’s First Fridays block party to feature free concert, beer garden

CityScape's First Fridays block party will include local music, a beer garden and a raffle for a free iPad. (DD/Stephanie Snyder)

For the first time since its grand opening, CityScape will take part in the First Fridays festivities by holding a free concert and beer garden.

26 Blocks will join with Ear Candy Charities to host a block party featuring electronica rock outfit Mr. Meeble, live art by Dumperfoo and a raffle to give away a free iPad.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to midnight, with the drawing for the iPad taking place after the last act preforms. The performance is open to all ages.

26 Blocks will be displaying their namesake exhibit, as well as debuting their free iPad application, during the concert, said Joey Parks, founder of the organization.

“I was planning on having the iPad debut party at a smaller venue,” Parks said. “But then, while I was at CityScape, I thought ‘why not here?'”

Parks said Mr. Meeble was an obvious choice for a front band.

“I liked the electronic rock thing; I liked the vibe,” said Parks. “Mr. Meeble may be a part of 26 Blocks in 2011.”

The beer garden, featuring three different kinds of craft beers, will run at the same time, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Ear Candy Charities.

Ear Candy will also be selling T-shirts, a 2011 calendar and accepting donations, founder and executive director Nate Anderson said.

Ear Candy’s goal is to put musical instruments and education in the hands of underprivileged youth in Arizona and has impacted over 10,000 kids since the opening in 2007, he said.

“We really wanted to celebrate a really successful year,” Anderson said. “And it also works to highlight the success of CityScape.”

Anderson said Ear Candy plans to make the event an annual or biannual part of the organization.

Amanda Savage, a self-proclaimed First Friday fanatic, said she has mixed emotions about the event.

“I am excited for the concert and for CityScape to have live music, but I feel like First Fridays has become so commercialized as it is with the light rail and all the over new developments,” she said.

However, Savage said the idea of a beer garden really appealed to her.

“I am a huge fan of music so supporting a charity that promotes music education is something I support,” she said.

Savage said she and her friends plan to go to the CityScape block party as they make their way around other First Fridays’ events.

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“First Fridays can already never be what is used to be,” Savage said. “But maybe this will make it something new.”