An annual summer concert series in Clinton will come alive on Thursday.
Alive After Five, entering its sixth year, will kick off with Black and Blue Experience. DJ Robert Stroud of Boogie Shoes Network will begin playing at 5:15 p.m. and the band will go on at 6 p.m. A sponsors reception will extend from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Clinton City Market adjacent to where the stage is set up off the Lisbon Street parking lot.
Ray Jordan, executive director of the Sampson County Exposition Center and chairman of the Alive After Five (AA5) committee, said he expects another great year for the series, which again has received a wealth of support and positive feedback leading up to the first show.
“There are 99 sponsors of the 2016 season,” said Jordan.
Stroud, also an AA5 committee member, called sponsors the “key component that has led to the success of this series.”
This year, the shows will be held from 6 to 8:45 p.m. every third Thursday, aside from October’s two finale concerts, which will take place Oct. 6 at the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center parking lot in conjunction with the Cycle NC tour stop — expected to bring thousands more on top of the regular attendance. The change of venue is to accommodate the larger crowd, while also clearing the way for that weekend’s Court Square Street Fair downtown.
In all, this year’s sixth AA5 season will feature five free public concerts from May through October. Since its inception the Alive After Five (AA5) Committee, bolstered by partnerships with the Sampson Arts Council, City of Clinton and Sampson County, as well as more than 100 different sponsors, has put on 28 concerts over the years.
Leading off concert number 29 this Thursday is Black & Blue Experience, which, while new to Clinton’s annual concert series, has been entertaining audiences from the Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico and across the eastern United States and Canada since 1968. The group consists of 12 performers and features a three-piece horn section, a four-piece rhythm section, and lead singers that head up a high-energy performance.
Other acts on the AA5 lineup include Soul Psychedelique on June 19. After a break in July, perennial favorites Jim Quick & Coastline and Band of Oz will perform on Aug. 18 and Sept. 15, respectively. La Grange-based Spare Change, veterans to Alive After Five, will grace the stage along with homegrown band Eastline at the Oct. 6 event. Formed in early 2015, Eastline has the distinction of being the first truly local band to play as part of the series.
Committee members, local officials and attendees have long praised the concerts with being family-friendly events that are fun and entertaining for all ages.
“Each concert provides attendees the opportunity to catch up with neighbors and old friends, as well as providing a venue for meeting newcomers to the community,” fellow AA5 committee member Ross Kimbro stated.
Jordan said he has received a great response going into another year.
“The response has been very positive,” he said, “both from sponsors and from the community regarding this season’s lineup of bands.”
Event attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and sunscreen. No coolers or pets are allowed. For more information, visit www.aliveafterfiveclintonnc.com or visit Alive After Five Clinton NC on Facebook. AA5 chairman Ray Jordan can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 910-592-6451.
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