SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Last weekend, GRiZ fans were treated to two days of electronic dance music that the Detroit DJ, songwriter and producer performed at Live Oak Bank Pavilion in downtown Wilmington.
By Sunday, the crowd — 4,000 fans, to be precise — were mobilizing toward Pleasure Island for an additional show: GRiZmas in July Charity Beach Party.
Hosted by Carolina Beach Bar Club, 98.3 The Penguin, Beau Gunn Presents and Ocean Cure, the show was hosted south of the bath house at Fort Fisher. (Full disclosure: Beau Gunn is the general manager of Local Daily Media, the parent company of Port City Daily and 98.3 Penguin.)
Muzzy Bear — a 22-year-old Detroit native known in the world of electronic music — performed for 30 minutes before GRiZ took over and played to dancing beachgoers for two hours.
According to Gunn, GRiZ suggested turning his annual beach party into a charity event, something that wasn’t possible the last three years it was hosted. The DJ — who plays dubstep, trip hop, and electronic sounds — has thrown the iconic summertime celebrations area fans have come to anticipate on Mason’s Inlet, south of Figure 8 Island.
“But we couldn’t ticket the event because of logistics,” Gunn said. “Once we could, he requested we help him dial in a local charity that could benefit.”
The members at Carolina Beach Bar Club suggested Ocean Cure, a local nonprofit that helps people overcome any physical challenges for a chance to enjoy the beach. The group offers beach wheel chairs, has installed accessible flooring at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, and provides adaptive surf boards.
Its volunteers and trained instructors help individuals annually at surf camps as well. The nonprofit’s mission is to help empower people “through surfing … to feel that there is no obstacle that they can not overcome.”
“This summer we embarked on a mission to double our charity camp load and we are close to completing 65 days of free charity camps,” Ocean Cure founder Kevin Murphy said.
According to Murphy, the $18,000 raised from the GRiZ show will be used for equipment.
“I’m hoping to order eight custom adaptive surfboards,” he added.
Murphy also plans to make repairs to Ocean Cure’s 30 beach wheel chairs and 2,000 square feet of accessible beach mats.
Volunteers of Ocean Cure helped man the concert, as did Carolina Beach Bar staff, Gunn said.
“No trash was left behind,” he added. “This will be a new tradition so long as we are welcomed back. I am optimistic we will be able to do it again.”
Update: The article originally noted $16,000 was raised, but all donations hadn’t been tallied by press; the amount has been updated to reflect the final count.
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