Second ‘First on Front’ summer concert on Friday

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Organizers plan adjustments, more concession options

urdy's First on Front concert series will continue on Friday with the second night of performances in the Jerry D. Hall Memorial Pavilion at the Glen and Sharon Garrett Park on Front Street.

Amanda Lee, organizer of the series for First State Bank, said the first concert on May 4 provided insight in how to run a big in that space and provided direction for the next event.

“Monett has something special in the park and pavilion, for sure,” Lee said. “It felt good being part of it.”

The lineup for the second concert, beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, will include Rocked N Loaded, out of Seneca; Better Than Nothin', hailing from Marionville, and Porter Union, from Springfield, originally called the Cole Porter Band, which has been booked to play at many festivals this summer.

Lee said the feedback from the first concert was “all positive,” and had exceptional support from the city, police and Monett Main Street, developers of the site into an events center. She anticipated adding more food trucks, boosting offerings to 10. A separate station will be available this week for persons wanting beverages, so they can find faster service than waiting in line at food trucks. She noted people were getting more used to the idea of buying fresh food from the food trucks, made on order rather than coming prepackaged.

Many came last time without any seating. Lee encouraged the audience to bring lawn chairs or blankets for their comfort and an extended stay.

Many people came from a significant distance, including one who drove from Warrensburg. The demographic survey acquired through the cards for local shopping showed “not even half” the audience came from Monett. Lee said First State Bank hoped to make the event a regional experience, and was pleased to see the breadth of response, with many coming from Cassville, Pierce City and surrounding towns.

Again this week, downtown businesses will stay open late to give visitors a chance to check out store offerings during half-hour breaks between the music. Approximately 40 cards were turned in at the last concert of people who went to all the businesses and participated in the grand prize drawing.

A merchant giveaway will again be held this week, but with different rules. Instead of having a card punched, Lee said participants will be asked to take selfie photos with nine different products available in the stores, and to post their photos on Facebook and Instagram to establish eligibility.

Mike Roberts, with Springfield radio station 101.3 the Outlaw, will broadcast from the concert during the evening. Lee said Roberts scoped out the performance venue this week, was “in awe of the facility” and is looking forward to the opportunity.

“This is all about the community and bringing people together,” Lee said. “That first evening, sitting there in the dusk, hearing kids laughing the music playing, it was worth every second of it.”

The concert is free, underwritten by First State Park. Front Street and Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets between Broadway and Front will be closed for the evening. Those attending are urged to park on Broadway, other side streets or the Sixth Street parking lot. The Fifth Street lot will be open only for the bands and logistical hauling of support equipment and personnel. A beer garden will again be available on Front Street within view of the stage.

The Friday concert series will conclude on July 6.

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