L.A. Twestival Utilizes Social Media for Social Good (Plus, a Damn Good Party and Surprise Performance by Metric)

View more photos in the "L.A. Twestival @ The Roxy feat. Metric" slideshow.

Twitter + festival = Twestival charity event

Erin BroadleyTwitter + festival = Twestival charity event

The Twitterati of Los Angeles came together Thursday night at this year's L.A. Twestival to raise money and awareness for Concern Worldwide, "an international humanitarian organization transforming the lives of the world's poorest, most marginalized children through access to education." For those who still haven't jumped on the social media bandwagon, Twestival is a charity event (Twitter + festival = Twestival!) put together annually in 175 cities worldwide, using social media to bring about social good. Hosted by Shira Lazar and Oprah Radio's Derrick Ashong, the night was broadcast live on UStream.TV.

Hosts Shira Lazar and Oprah Radio's Derrick Ashong

Erin BroadleyHosts Shira Lazar and Oprah Radio's Derrick Ashong

This year's Twestival was held at the famous Roxy Theater on Sunset Blvd., the perfect location to bring together social media, music, and philanthropy. Proprietor Nic Adler has been going hard with social media initiatives to bring a new vibe to the local scene. He's even gone so far as to credit the use of social media initiatives for "saving the Sunset Strip" in regard to overcoming some of the challenges local businesses have faced dealing with the typically fickle club hoppers that make the L.A. nightlife what it is.

"There wasn't really a concerted effort of everybody working together to bring people to the area and not so much one place or another.... The Viper and I, we didn't talk, we were competitors. We were going for the same bands. Then with social media, there was a different conversation."

Stacey Soleil, Rynda Laurel, Shira Lazar and Paula Gould

Erin BroadleyStacey Soleil, Rynda Laurel, Shira Lazar and Paula Gould

KW Low and Karina Grotz

Erin BroadleyKW Low and Karina Grotz

KW Low and Karina Grotz

Erin BroadleyKW Low and Karina Grotz

The night was jam packed with exciting performances: 16-year-old DJ prodigy Jake Simon kicked the night off proper, and video turntablist Mike Relm killed it with sick remixes and video montages that got everyone out of their seats. Attendees got their vanity insanity on in a photobooth provided by Polite in Public and enjoyed complimentary cocktails provided by VeeV. The highlight of the evening was a surprise performance by the band Metric, in town to perform the following night at the Palladium.


Erin BroadleyMetric


Erin BroadleyMetric

What set the L.A. Twestival apart from the rest? Laurie Percival of L.A.'s Best Tech Blog Lalawag said, "DJ Mike Relm mixes music with video in a way that I have never seen before. It was awesome. I was also impressed that the organizers were able to get Metric to play."

Host Shira Lazar gushed, "It was a perfect opportunity to prove that not only could we bring Angelenos together offline to party and schmooze but to think global and support a great cause. L.A. is all about thinking big and we did that with this year's Twestival. This year was all about making the L.A. community leave feeling awesome, inspired, and that they made a difference. I definitely feel we accomplished that!"

The Los Angeles tech set was able to raise $8,632, enough to provide a well for a school or for a classroom to enjoy 30 nutritious meals. Cumulatively, Twestival was able to pull together $352,965 for a worthy cause.

For skeptics who still think social media is a passing trend: Twitter, please.

Rynda Laurel

Erin BroadleyRynda Laurel

Amanda Coolong

Erin BroadleyAmanda Coolong

Alex Albrecht

Erin BroadleyAlex Albrecht

The Hawk, Mike Prasad, Laren Scheff

Erin BroadleyThe Hawk, Mike Prasad, Laren Scheff