The Alive After Five Summer Concert Series has raised nearly $100,000 this year through the aid of more than 90 sponsors and, despite some weather issues thus far, the events have been well-attended.
The next show, featuring The Magnificents, is on tap for Thursday.
Alive After Five Committee member Ray Jordan said the 93 sponsors and $98,993 amassed through the series are on par with last year’s numbers and Jordan said he is encouraged with the many new sponsors on board for 2014.
“We have some new sponsors this year. There were some that didn’t renew, but we picked up some new ones, so we’re appreciative of that,” said Jordan, who noted the amount raised was just $2,000 less than 2013’s tally.
A summer staple in downtown Clinton for the fourth straight year, the Alive After Five Summer Concert Series is presented by the Sampson Arts Council, City of Clinton and Sampson County, for free to the public on the third Thursday of each month, May through August, at the Clinton City Market on Lisbon Street.
Touted as a family-friendly event, the concert series offers a quality show with no cost to concert-goers, they said. AA5 committee members have urged everyone to visit the downtown to take in live music, as well as enjoy cool beverages, good food and local vendors. Jordan said he is happy with the sponsors and said food vendors “are doing well.”
Jim Quick & Coastline opened this year’s edition in May followed by Band of Oz last month. On Thursday, The Magnificents will take the stage and Steve Owens & Summertime is slated for Aug. 21.
Jordan said he has been pleased with the turnout to the shows, especially when taking into account uncooperative weather.
“The first one was held on the inside (at the Sampson Agri-Exposition Center). I was pleasantly surprised that we had a very good turnout for that one. We estimated 1,200 people,” he remarked. “That was the biggest one we had on the inside. I was thoroughly pleased with it.”
While June’s show saw a larger crowd, the number was a drop from the typical numbers for a regular outside show, which range in the area of 2,000 people. With the featured act being Band of Oz, the number was expected to be on the high side.
“The attendance for the second (show) was a little bit off; I was surprised, but it was so hot and graduations were being held around the same time,” said Jordan. “We had between 1,350 and 1,450 at that show and we had to cut it short by 30 minutes due to lightning.”
Jordan said he expects the weather to be nice and sunny for Thursday’s show.
“We have the Magnificents. They play R&B, beach and a bunch of other stuff. The weather is supposed to be nice — 85 (degrees) and sunny — so it should be a good turnout,” he said.
As with all the shows, “gates” will open at 5 p.m. Thursday with DJ Robert Stroud of the Boogie Shoes Radio Network playing music leading up to the headliners. The concert will begin at 5:45 p.m. and last until 8:45 p.m. Those shows all feature a sponsor’s reception, at which food and drinks are offered. Without those sponsors, and the rest of the community, the series would not be a success, organizers have said.
This year, in addition to the four shows, the concert series is skipping a September show in favor of offering an October show featuring The Fantastic Shakers That show will take place on Friday, Oct. 10, at the parking lot in front of the Clinton Rail Depot, at 205 W. Elizabeth St. leading up to Clinton’s annual Court Square Street Fair on Saturday, Oct. 11.
Through a partnership between the AA5 Committee and the City of Clinton, a line-up of free concerts will be held throughout the day of the fair itself, featuring Gospel, Latino, country, beach and Top 40 music.
More information on October’s event will be coming in the near future, Jordan said.
For more information about AA5, call the Sampson County Agri-Exposition Center at 910-592-6451 or visit the revamped Alive After Five website at aliveafterfiveclintonnc.com.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121. Follow us on twitter @SampsonInd.