Every year in May, Key West holds their annual Keystock concert that raises funds to builds homes for veterans. This year will be featuring the legendary Doobie Brothers. Restaurants and hotels around the island are gearing up for a fantastic time.
Not that anyone needs an excuse to go down to Key West, Florida, but they certainly do a great job of coming up with great reasons to get away from it all. The first weekend of May proves to be no different as the annual Keystock Concert is again scheduled. Every year, host Howard Livingston and his band, the Mile Marker 24 Band, arrange for a nationally recognized headliner to help bring people together for a great time which also serves as a fundraiser for a great cause. This year is no exception as he has managed to sign world famous Grammy Award winners, The Doobie Brothers. Businesses all across the island are more excited than ever.
"Every year this is a big weekend for us," said Norman Vogel, owner of The Roof Top Cafй. "We get people on the island that wouldn't normally come down here, but to have a chance to see such a legendary band in such a unique environment, they really can't pass up the chance. That means we can't pass up the chance to show them all that this island has to offer in hopes that they will come back again and stay for much longer."
Howard Livingston has been hosting these concerts for several years as a way to help raise money for veterans in need. Each year one hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to the cost of constructing a new house for a deserving veteran of the American Armed Forces. He specifically chooses to do it the first weekend in May, however, so he can also help the Key West restaurants that he has come to love so much.
"A lot of tourists still think that the season ends on Easter, we roll up the sidewalks and everyone goes home," said Mr. Livingston. "The fact is the quieter that Key West gets, the more exciting it can be. It gives people a chance to see everything that this island paradise has to offer without having to deal with the crowds that are normally here."
If things keep going the way they have been, he might just have to eat his words. This event…the perfect combination of having fun in the sun while helping a very worthy cause…has quickly become one of the go-to events of the year, and with a band like The Doobie Brothers bringing all of their number one hits, this might prove to be the biggest Keystock ever.
Jack Terry is a food and travel writer who spent many years in the restaurant scene in Key West.