A Night for Esme, A Night for Community By Andie Salazar

Whether through community events or the promotion of emerging talents, Austinites are well-known for being supportive of their own. This week, Austin showed tremendous support in the face of tragedy with a series of three events held in memory of Esme Barrera. 

On Thursday, Jan. 26, from 4-6 p.m., a self defense class titled “For the Love of Esme” was held at Tom’s Tabooley. Dan Kiser, CEO and President of Austin Self Defense, instructed the class in methods of self defense and fighting techniques. The event was open to the public and intended to raise awareness for the importance of knowing how to protect oneself when faced with dangerous situations. Proceeds from the class benefited Barrera's family to assist with the cost of services. 

Saturday, Jan. 28, will put another set of benefits on the calendar. Beerland is hosting two concerts in honor of Barrera, A Day Show For Esme and A Night For Esme. The events are a fitting tribute, as Barrera was deeply involved in the local music scene.

A Day Show For Esme kicks off at 2 p.m. and will feature the sounds of The December Boys, Simple Circuit and Literature. As the sun sets, A Night For Esme will start up. Beginning at 9 p.m., local bands the Crack Pipes, the Golden Boys and Royal Butchers will take the stage with headliner Ted Leo--much admired by Barrera--who flew in for the occasion. Admission is $10 admission per person, in support of Barrera's family.

Several other benefit events have also been held as a tribute to Esme, including For Esme, With Love at Club 1808 on Jan. 13 and A Benefit for Esme Barrera at Frontier Bar on Jan. 15. It’s a true testament to the character of Austin, Texas that an entire community can offer such an outpouring of support in the face of grief.

For those unable to attend the upcoming events, there is still an opportunity to contribute through a website has been set up to take online donations as well.

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