Rockford will host platinum-selling country artists at On the Waterfronts Stars & Guitars summer concert series June 21-24 at Davis Park.
Stars & Guitars is part of the On the Waterfront, Inc., series of events, including Groove Walk (was May 12), The Directors Challenge golf tournament (July 23), and the annual On the Waterfront Festival (Aug. 30-31 and Sept. 1-2).
Following is the lineup of Stars & Guitars performers by date:
Thursday, June 21Sara Evans and Little Big Town
Friday, June 2238 Special, Keith Anderson and Jason Michael Carroll
Saturday, June 23Blake Shelton, Jeff Allen and Blue Country
Sunday, June 24The Wreckers, Cowboy Crush and Jason Aldean
Stars & Guitars began as two weekendsone featuring hard rock and the other country. The country segment received much greater support, and the festival shifted to an exclusively country lineup.
One of the interesting things weve seen in the past couple years with music is how much the genre (country) has changed, … even into the mainstream, said Becky Genoways, On the Waterfront, Inc., president.
One of the great things about the festival is that so many artists are each popular in their own right, Genoways added.
Jimi Westbrook of Little Big Town, which has twice been nominated for a Grammy award, said, The festivals are what summers made of for us.
Weve been in that area before, Westbrook added. There are a great bunch of fans there who have always been supportive of country music.
Regarding the bands Grammy nominations, Westbrook said: Its really cool to be nominated. Its a real pat on the back from your peers.
You cant help but think about the journey youve been on, he added.
Westbrook said touring is vital to making a connection with the audience. Thats why you do what you do, he said. Its all about that time you spend on stage making a connection with people.
You want to make music that moves you, Westbrook added, and hopefully moves other people.
Stars & Guitars brings people to town, something Genoways said is good for the downtown community. Through the On the Water, Inc., ZIP-code study of patrons, people from 27 states came to downtown, providing much exposure for downtown and the River District.
Rockford has a lot going for it, and the more excitement we can generate for it the better, Genoways said.
Genoways, who said live entertainment adds to the quality of life in a city, added, Concerts and festivals bring people back together.
Being down at Davis Park at a concert at night is a great experience… in a beautiful setting, Genoways said.
For more about Stars & Guitars or other On the Waterfront events, visit www.onthewaterfront.com or contact the On the Waterfront office, 308 W. State St., Suite 115, at (815) 964-4388. Tickets are available online through www.onthewaterfront.com or www.centreevents.com, or by contacting the Centre Events box office at (815) 968-5222.
from the June 20-27, 2007, issue