By Chris Berendt Staff Writer
March 30, 2014
Alive After Five, the popular summer concert series that has overtaken downtown Clinton for the past three years, is heading into its fourth with a fall expansion.
The Sampson Arts Council, City of Clinton and Sampson County have announced the 2014 Annual Alive After Five Summer Concert Series, during which free public concerts will take place on the third Thursday of each month, May through August, at the Clinton City Market on Lisbon Street.
The 2014 Summer Concert Series will feature Jim Quick & Coastline on May 17; Band of Oz on June 19; The Magnificents on July 17; and Steve Owens & Summertime on Aug. 21.
This year, in addition to the four shows, the concert series is skipping a September show in favor of offering a full day of music at Clinton’s annual Court Square Street Fair in October. As Alive After Five Committee members prepared to send out notices to past sponsors this coming week (prospective sponsors will be contacted later in the week), organizers of the annual event said they were readying for a bigger, better AA5.
That bigger, better event will see the summer concert extend into the fall, as the AA5 Committee partners with the City of Clinton to bring entertainment to the downtown as part of the street fair. Free performances will be offered throughout the festival, beginning on Friday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m. when The Fantastic Shakers take the stage.
“It’s a great kickoff to the street fair,” said AA5 Committee member Ray Jordan. “That’s exciting. We’ll be having entertainment all day Saturday. That will be a tremendous boost for the street fair and great exposure for our sponsors. That will be a boost from five events to 11 concerts.”
Starting again at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, a line-up of free concerts will be held throughout the day of the street fair itself, featuring gospel, Latino, country, beach and Top 40 music. For that October event, there is no sponsor’s reception and the stage will be set up at the parking lot in front of the Clinton Rail Depot, at 205 W. Elizabeth St.
For each of the summer shows, “gates” will open at 5 p.m. with DJ Robert Stroud of the Boogie Shoes Radio Network playing music until start time. The concert will begin at 5:45 p.m. and last until 8:30 p.m. Those shows all feature a sponsor’s reception, at which food and drink are offered.
Last year, the series boasted a total of 107 sponsors and raised over $101,000 in cash contributions and in-kind donations.
From the event’s inception in 2011, even well before then, it has truly been a community effort to put on something worthwhile and free to everyone, an event that families across Sampson and surrounding counties could really enjoy while in the process visiting a growing downtown Clinton and supporting local merchants.
AA5 committee members — along with Jordan, the committee includes Vickie Crane, Kara Donatelli, David Jenkins, Rex Moody, Lyle Moore, Mary Rose, J.W. Simmons and Robert Stroud — have urged everyone to visit the downtown to take in live music, as well as enjoy cool beverages, vendor booths and food throughout the years. Touted as a family-friendly event, the concert series offers a quality show with no cost to concert-goers, they said.
Sponsors are vital to the series, Jordan said, with hundreds of people pitching in to ensure that AA5 is successful.
“Sponsors are the key component that has led to the success of this series,” AA5 Committee members stated in the notice to past sponsors, sent out Sunday (today). “We are confident that the 2014 AA5 Series will draw people from Sampson and surrounding counties and we are positive that adding the concert series to the street fair will draw even more people to our community and will increase the economic impact within our community and for local businesses.”
Also new this year will be the presence of a BrightBoard, a large “jumbotron”-type digital screen that will display video of people dancing and other sights throughout the event in real-time, as well as scroll through the names and logos of various sponsors and other event information.
Jordan said he is looking forward to the additions to the event, while keeping intact the foundation of partnerships, local participation and sponsorships that have made it such a success.
“Alive After Five has been a wonderful addition to our downtown event lineup and well received and supported by downtown business owners and the citizens of Clinton and Sampson County,” said Rose. “ The partnership between the Sampson Arts Council, Sampson County and the City of Clinton is a natural partnership which, with the support of our sponsors, works very well.”
The deadline to become a sponsor of the 2014 series is Tuesday, April 22. Sponsorships, from bronze at $250 to diamond at $5,000, offer a range of benefits depending on the level of sponsorship. All sponsors will receive tickets and parking passes to all four receptions at the Clinton City Market, held in conjunction with each of the concerts.
To inquire about becoming a sponsor, email Alive After Five at email@example.com and one of the committee members will contact you. For more information about AA5, call 910-592-6451 or visit aliveafterfiveclintonnc.com.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.