Chill out at Kannapolis Beach Music Festival
By Hugh Fisher
KANNAPOLIS ó The first night of the annual Kannapolis Beach Music Festival drew thousands to the city for food and favorite summer sounds.
And the hits keep on coming today, with the Craig Woolard Band taking the stage at the Village Park Amphitheater at 3 p.m.
Mark Roberts and Breeze will perform at 5 p.m. and the Fantastic Shakers round out the night starting at 7, with a fireworks display scheduled for 9:30.
The two-day event at Village Park builds on one of last year’s most successful shows in the Kannapolis Summer Concert Series.
“Last year, we had over 8,000 people in the park,” said Becky Tolle, special event coordinator for Kannapolis Parks and Recreation.
“With success like that, you have to grow it,” Tolle said.
This year’s slate of bands features several groups that have never played in Kannapolis, several with large fan followings.
One of last year’s favorites returned to the Kannapolis stage last night. Jim Quick and Coastline performed beach, R&B and soul favorites for a mixed crowd of longtime fans and first-timers.
“We’ve been very well received,” Quick said. “The hospitality was phenomenal and audience participation was fabulous.”
Quick, whose band’s inspirations include Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and Delbert McClinton, plays mostly original songs. “It’s a really high-energy show,” he said.
Fans gathered on the lawn were quick to agree.
“This is what I grew up with,” said Helen Elliott of Concord. “I’m originally from Morehead City, down near Atlantic Beach, and this is what I heard as a kid.”
Elliott and her daughter, Sheila, came to the show with friend Lisa Cook, also of Concord.
“It’s just good, clean music,” Sheila said.
“And once that music is in your bones, it don’t never go away,” Helen said.
Ann Abernethy of Faith and Donna Harless of Kannapolis brought lawn chairs and a picnic supper to the concert. Classic beach music regained popularity during their teen and college years.
“After I was introduced to it, it never died,” Abernethy said. “It just makes you smile.”
Harless had seen Jim Quick and Coastline perform last year in Kannapolis. “They’re wonderful,” she said.
Young and young-at-heart alike turned out for the first night of festivities.
“This group here ranges in age from 8 to 88,” said Stowe Cobb, pointing to a semicircle of lawn chairs and blankets where his family sat.
“And we’re here on 8-8-2008.”
“I think it’s great that the city of Kannapolis puts on events like this that are family oriented,” said Karen Cobb. “It’s a great way to enjoy a summer evening.”
Gary Mills, Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Director, said the weather this weekend was perfect for outdoor music and fun ó just as beach music was perfect for a summertime crowd.
“Beach music originated in the Carolinas and it’s only fitting that we should host a beach music festival,” Mills said.
“It’s multigenerational. It gets a lot of people dancing, tapping their feet and singing along.”