In 1991 Dave Green, a Seattle native was in college in southern California and wanted to raise money for Mary’s Kitchen, a struggling soup kitchen run by Mary McAnena. Dave worked on a college radio station and booked bands part time for Chapman university. “I was inspired after working at a homeless kitchen in Hart park near my campus. Most of the students had no idea that there was this problem of homelessness right down the street, I wanted to get these students attention so I came up with the idea to put together a benefit concert that would draw attention to the problem of homelessness, give local bands some exposure and create a event that would draw students together ” Dave explains.
One year later, Dave with support of his friends and the university put together his first Noise for the Needy concert. Mary in her eighties had never received this type of support for her cause and was extremely grateful. Noise for the Needy was a major success and continued for more then a decade. “I can remember by the third Noise for the Needy, I went to visit Mary’s kitchen and saw this ‘complex’ with showers and a clothing distribution program , one of the staff took me aside and said, “your concerts built this.” It was a pretty amazing moment.”
The shows began to draw a diverse set of performers. Bands participating in shows have included Black Eyed Peas, Ozomotli, Rancid, the Offspring, Vandals, Goldfinger, Voo Doo Glow Skulls, Save Ferris, Long Beach Dub All Stars. NFTN has shown well over a hundred bands, raising over 100,000 dollars for local charities. Dave remained as an organizer and consultant until 2003 when he went on to get his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. He still holds a director’s position.
In 2004 Richard Green (Dave’s brother) with the help of Jeff Henry started the first Noise for the Needy show in Seattle. The first show included four local bands and took place at Nectar Lounge in Fremont. NFTN has since become a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and the festival has grown to a 5 day event spanning clubs all over the city of Seattle. Since 2006, NFTN has worked with Okkervil River, CSS, The Handsome Family, The Blakes, Head Like a Kite, Feral Children, Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Slender Means, The Cops, The Purrs, Christy McWilson, Mark Pickerel, Hypatia Lake, Fourth city DJs and many other talented local musicians.