Now in its 12th year of charitable giving by means of Christmas cover bands, Punks For Presents is about to kick off its annual toy drive benefitting the Children’s Hospital of Richmond. Along with a Christmas in July benefit show that took place at Hardywood over the summer, this year’s drive spans 10 December days with five benefit shows with 22 Christmas-themed punk and metal bands performing at five separate venues around Richmond. Punks for Presents is also this month’s recipient of Sticky Rice’s Dine to Donate.
Richmond metal veterans of all shades and ages congregate together at this time of year to cover their idols’ top tracks in a yuletide way, using their music to fundraise for the betterment of ill children. Fan favorite Sleigher, who bring a holiday twist to classic Slayer tunes, throws the fruitcake right in your face, all for the kids.
While the purpose of the drive is to collect toys for kids, there’s no need to stress if you don’t have the eye for the most appealing ones. All proceeds from cover charges and raffle tickets, as well as any other donations, will go directly towards the purchase of new toys for the Children’s Hospital.
This gift won’t just last through the end of the holiday season, either. Punks for Presents has donated so many toys that there’s no way they can all be distributed on Christmas Day. “The Children’s Hospital saves a lot and gives them out over the year,” an anonymous organizer for Punks for Presents said. “So whenever a child comes out of surgery scared and confused, they’ll have a teddy bear waiting for them.”
If you are one those carol-singing, gift-giving savants, Punks for Presents invites you to shop locally at World of Mirth or other kid-friendly outlets for any $10 toy. Any local toy purchase is just as good as paying the admission charge, in the organizer’s eyes.
“You know, it was a late-night bar idea that actually ended up happening,” said an anonymous organizer on the beginnings of the annual toy drive. Who would have thought that some boozy insight is all it takes to create a 12-year legacy of parody, goodwill, and charity?
“Punks for Presents started off at Empire,” organizer Larry Wood said. “Now, everyone is so excited to be working with us. Banditos and Wonderland have been a blessing.” Banditos is where that late-night bar talk first happened and Banditos’ show is the last night of the event. It will be the only night free to attend, but don’t let that stop you from donating.
This season’s first night of Christmas metal begins Fri. Dec. 8 at Gallery 5 with London Caroling (The Clash), Good Cretins (Ramones), and Sex Tinsels (Sex Pistols). Music starts at 8pm and don’t forget to bring a $10 toy.
Punks for Presents’ organizers would also like to inform you that they have invited photographers to the shows, so keep a lookout on their website and social media for pictures of you and all your friends.
You can get all the details here, or check out the full rundown of bands, venues and shows below:
NIGHT 1 FRIDAY 12/8, Gallery5 – 200 W Marshall St
LONDON CAROLING (The Clash)
GOOD CRETINS (Ramones)
SEX TINSELS (Sex Pistols)
8PM – 12AM
NIGHT 2 SATURDAY 12/9, Wonderland RVA – 1727 E Main St
ROCKET QUEEN (Guns N Roses)
ZOMBIE X-MAS (Rob Zombie / White Zombie)
FAITH SNO MORE (Faith No More)
8PM – 1AM
NIGHT 3 MONDAY 12/11, The Camel – 1621 W Broad St
IMAGINARY TOYS (The Cure)
LIFE ON MARS – (David Bowie)
8PM – 1AM
NIGHT 4 SATURDAY 12/16, Strange Matter – 929 W Grance St
CHRISTMAS TRIBUTE TO AVAIL (Avail)
…AND OUT COME THE WOOLS (Rancid)
OI TO THE WORLD (Cock Sparrer/Sham 69/Blitz & more)
CHRISTMAS JERKS (Circle Jerks)
8PM – 1AM
NIGHT 5 SUNDAY 12/17, Bandito’s Burrito Lounge – 2905 Patterson Ave
SANTA WK (Andrew WK)
EGGNOG (The Melvins)
9PM – 1AM