Great Scott relocates annual toy drive to sister venue O’Brien’s Pub

Photo: Michael Marotta for Vanyaland

One of the best parts of the Christmas season is the annual Great Scott holiday party, where the music scene comes together at the Allston rock club, consumes a ton of food and alcohol (shrimp goes very well does not go very well with Jägermeister), watches The Scrooges tear shit up, and donates unwrapped toys and gift cards to needy children around New England.

We all know this year sucked ass, and while there’s no Scrooges show, there’s no longer even a Great Scott (until booking agent Carl Lavin manages to relocate the venue down Harvard Avenue to the Allston Depot). But the year, obviously, was even more terrible for those in need, and Great Scott’s general manager Tim Philbin isn’t letting the club’s current limbo negatively impact the kids who are less fortunate, relocating the annual toy and gift card collection over to sister venue O’Brien’s Pub.

So while there’s no physical holiday party to help collect toys, O’Brien’s will be accepting donations from those who still want to help out. On the mornings after Great Scott’s holiday parties, while the rest of us are nursing our collective bangovers, the venue’s staff are usually rounding up several bags of toys and what usually amounts to $1,000 in gift cards. And they’re hoping to do it again this holiday season.


“As I was looking at the calendar today I realized that this coming Sunday would have been the Great Scott/O’Brien’s Pub holiday party,” Philbin writes on Facebook. “We would have all gathered together, had a few drinks, perhaps a few too many and watched The Scrooges do what they’ve done every party for years. Shrimp would have been eaten, lots and lots of shrimp, but the best part for me would be looking at that pile of toys and gift cards at the end of the night. Well we can’t gather and The Scrooges can’t play at O’Brien’s but we can still give some kids a holiday they deserve. This year of all years, no child should go without. I know times are tough and I know many of you are out of work but please think about making some sort of donation.”

O’Brien’s will be collecting unwrapped gifts and gift card donations this weekend and next: Saturday, December 12 to Monday, December 14 and Saturday, December 19 to Monday, December 21, each day from 1 to 3 p.m. Those who want to contribute without having to physically roll up to O’Brien’s are asked to mail gift cards to the venue: O’Brien’s Pub, 3 Harvard Ave., Allston, MA 02134.