ClevelandFEST: Local bands, transplanted partiers, random New Yorkers party for good cause

Though Alex Lombardo has been living it up in NYC for the past four years, working as a fancy designer for Rolling Stone, his heart still beats for our Bologna on the Lake. So Lombardo, a native of Lakewood, decided there’d be no better way to honor his Rust Belt roots than by hosting a New York-based festival chock full of Cleveland bands. Tomorrow, beginning at 4 p.m., New Yorkers will get at taste of our fair town at Lombardo’s ClevelandFEST. The night will be kicked off by The Pianos, an outfit hailing from Oberlin, which will be followed by the sweet sounds of everyone from Coffinberry and This Moment in Black History to Roue and The Duvalby Brothers – highschool mates of Lombardo. In fact, Lombardo says he was inspired to create ClevelandFEST by the reunion of The Duvalby Brothers. “I was so jealous when they got back together and I knew I couldn’t see them,” he says. “I thought this would be a nice excuse to get my friends out here to play.” But Lombardo’s ClevelandFEST isn’t just an excuse to see his dudes. It’s also a chance to do some good. All proceeds will be donated to the A.I.D.S Task Force in both Cleveland and New York. So far, the event has been picked up by every major NYC publication, including an editor’s pick in New York Magazine. Still, what makes Lombardo the proudest is knowing that all sorts of Cleveland ex-pats will unite to celebrate their forsaken town. “I’ve gotten so many emails from Clevelanders living the city who are super psyched,” he says. Asked whether he’ll ever host an event in Cleveland, Lombardo pauses. His voice is soaked with brain-drain heartache: “Maybe If I get a job in Cleveland, I’ll bring it to Cleveland.” For more info, visit ClevelandFEST’s MySpace page here.
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