I like the idea of having Main Street Live play to a slightly different tune.
The summer concert series is adored by many local residents who bring their lawn chairs, and their appetites, for a relaxing night of music, food, and toe-tapping fun.
I know it’s probably the equivalent of falling on a sword to say something bad about Main Street Live, but here goes. The concert series is very enjoyable, but it has gotten a little stale. It’s slipped into a bit of a rut.
The lineup is predictable. There will be Four on the Floor playing a beach party. Don’t forget the electrifying dance music of Entice, which always seems to make the schedule. I could go on.
An idea discussed Tuesday night in a Main Street McMinnville board meeting brings great excitement. It was mentioned perhaps trimming the concert series down from eight bands to maybe four.
I say this is a wonderful place to start and I might offer one additional option. Reduce the lineup down to two mega bands, one for June and one for July, and really generate some excitement on those nights.
I must admit I’m not familiar with the Main Street McMinnville budget for booking bands, but there are a number of quality acts I think would draw a crowd without breaking the bank. Looking at one booking website, I found these bands to all be affordable:
• Aaron Tippin
• Air Supply
• Blue Oyster Cult
• George Thorogood
• Gloria Gaynord
• Kool & The Gang
• Joan Jett
• MC Hammer
• Rick Springfield
• The Oak Ridge Boys
Granted, these bands aren’t headliners like Aerosmith or Garth Brooks, but I think they would be appealing enough to draw a huge crowd to downtown McMinnville.
And here’s the part of the idea that I really like. With only two mega concerts a year, it would allow the entire downtown community to participate in the festivities. Invite visitors to shop Main Street before and after the show and get business owners on board to have extended hours and organize promotions.
This would allow businesses to benefit from having over 1,000 visitors in our downtown area. Shopping specials could be announced before the concert, during intermission, and immediately afterwards.
Having this type of downtown extravaganza is not feasible eight times a year with an eight-concert schedule, but it’s certainly doable with two bigger names. And it would be a way to put a proven concert series to work for business owners, instead of bringing people downtown to hear music and then go home.
The idea of tweaking Main Street Live is music to my ears. I think a good thing can be made even better.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.