Los Altos First Friday, a community music event, started on December 2nd, 2011 as a project of Los Altos Forward – a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation.
With the rise of Internet retail and competition from local shopping districts and malls the grass roots group of business owners, property owners and volunteers came together to create an event that supported the economic vibrancy of the downtown. The group strongly believed that downtown Los Altos should evolve to be more than just buildings in which to shop and dine, it should also have wonderful public spaces where citizens can come together to have fun, socialize, and see their friends and neighbors.
Los Altos First Friday was started by Los Altos resident Joe Eyre in 2011. From 2011 to 2012 First Fridays featured 3 or 4 bands playing in public and private spaces in the downtown triangle and did not take place consistently every month. In 2013 Joe Eyre became the Executive Director of Los Altos Community Foundation (now Los Altos Mountain View Community Foundation) and local business owners Carol Garsten and Jamie Lucia stepped up as the new co-chairs of First Friday.
The Lucia/Garsten duo, along with a small group of community volunteers, transformed Los Altos First Friday into a free, year-round, monthly music festival featuring 12-15 bands playing simultaneously in locations all around the downtown. Los Altos First Friday now attracts people from around the San Francisco Peninsula and is the best night of the month for the downtown restaurants.
“Our goal is to create a vibrant and engaging atmosphere where people of all ages can enjoy music, art, food and explore the one-of-a-kind retail businesses that make up the charming downtown. We love organizing First Friday because it makes people feel community connected and happy,” say Jamie Lucia and Carol Garsten.
The Los Altos Mountain View Community Foundation is the 501C3 Fiscal Sponsor for Downtown Los Altos First Friday. Sponsorship funding is provided by LAMVCF, businesses and community fans.