Earlier this week, Thomas Fekete — guitarist of local band made good, Surfer Blood — announced that he had cancer and needed financial help for his treatment. Support came flooding in within moments of the announcement. And in only four days, the fundraising campaign has netted over $60,000.
But longtime friends of Fekete and fellow South Florida musicians decided they weren’t content to simply donate to his GoFundMe page. They wanted to spread the word and appeal to people’s generosity with some great live music. Within days, a benefit concert was set up for May 9 at Respectable Street. The show will feature performances by local favorites and friends of Fekete, Beach Day, Wake Up, and Sweet Bronco.
“The first time I met Thomas he was in Weird Wives,” one of the event’s organizers, Ates Isildak, remembers. “He’s a super nice and super quiet guy that really speaks louder through his guitar work. He’s just always been a very loving and lovable person.”
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The event all came together within two hours after Respectable Street bartender, Lauren Dwyer, texted Isildak to see if they could set something up. Respectable Street manager, Allan Bowron, quickly shifted around the venue’s schedule so it could host an event. Surfer Blood will not be able to be there as they are on tour, but the band just last week filmed a video at the venue, so you could say they will be there in spirit. Isildak promises those that are present will have a wonderful evening. “It’s friends coming together for a noble cause. The music comes second in this case but thankfully the bands that are pals with Surfer Blood and Thomas in the area are also great bands, so it'll make for a fun night. I’m toying with the idea of asking each band to do a Surfer Blood cover.”
All admission charges will go directly to Fekete as well as 10% of all sales from the bar. “We're saying $10 suggested donations, but we'll accept anything, and no one will be turned away really. That's not the point. We just want to help out,” Isildak says.
Respectable Street is the perfect place for this event. Located in the band's native West Palm Beach, it has long been one of Surfer Blood's favorite venues. "They love having them play, and love having them hang out," Isildak says. "They've been getting employee discounts at the bar for years, despite not being employees.”
Benefit for Thomas Fekete. With Beach Day, Wake Up, and Sweet Bronco. 10 p.m., Saturday, May 9, at Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Visit the event Facebook page for more info.