The East End has more than 1,000 registered non-profit organizations, and, despite the fact that they obviously can’t make a profit, they need money to do their work.
Music producer and New York native Nile Rodgers has had a long and legendary career that spanned his authoring of dance hits including “We Are Family” and “Good Times,” and collaborations with recording artists ranging from Diana Ross to David Bowie to Daft Punk.
Now he’s collaborating with a group of local philanthropists to help the East End.
Last year, a bunch of community-minded folks, including some who used to run the “All for the Sea” concerts benefiting the campus formerly known as Southampton College, decided to create a new concert series designed to raise money for non-profit groups throughout the East End.
Their inaugural “All for the East End” cross-generational dance party, produced by Mr. Rodgers, will feature his band, Chic and special guest Swedish DJ AVICI. It will be held Aug. 19 at Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead. While AVICII may not be a household name on the East End, the 23-year-old DJ has three million Facebook fans and has just finished headlining the Future Music Festival, which is the biggest music festival in Australia.
“It’s gonna be the hottest disco dance party you’ve ever been to….We’re going to have everybody partying and dancing their butts off,” Mr. Rodgers said at a press conference last Thursday at Martha Clara Vineyards announcing the lineup.
Mr. Rodgers’ exuberant spirit, despite the hard times he faced as a young man and his current battle with cancer, is well-known in the industry, and it may be just what East End non-profits need to help them put their troubles in perspective.
Here’s what Bono of U2 has to say about Nile Rodgers (on Charlie Rose’s TV show, not in an interview with the East End Beacon):
“Joy is an act of defiance. A pop song is an act of defiance…. He came from a rough, rough place…. He wrote the future he wanted to live in. He wrote those so he could have those good times.”
While disco dancing might not be top on the priority list of the North Fork’s aging denizens, East Enders will get prime access to the event so that they can learn how to have good times. The regular ticket price is $149, but the first 1,000 ticket-buyers whose addresses are in the five East End towns will pay just $50. The concert organizers anticipate about 5,000 people will attend and they’re hoping to raise about half a million dollars.
All for the East End has contracted the services of Syosset-based Long Island Community Foundation to give the money to charities through a grant process, in an effort to ensure the cash is equitably distributed.
More information about the concert is available here.