This year, the 53rd Annual Festival in The Park – this metro area’s salute to Fall, actually occurs on the first full day of Fall. This popular event, Friday-Sunday, is based in Freedom Park, Charlotte’s 98-acre ‘Central Park,’ with its 7-acre lake and tree-lined walkways. A respite from the usual hubbub of a concert and arts festival, the park is a quaint, colorful haven nestled between historic Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods on East Boulevard.
Even though the weather might still be warm, this event marks the yearly turning point when summertime officially morphs into Fall with this all ages extravaganza of live music, variety entertainment, food, plus artists with their art wares in tents that wind around the lake.
There are several stages to keep things exciting: a Folk Society stage, the Clowns’ stage, the Magicians’ stage, but it’s the Main Stage, situated right in the center of all the festival hoopla, that serves up the right itinerary to draw loyal music fans of all ages and likes. Here’s the 2017 Main Stage Lineup:
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6: 30 to 7:30 p.m.: Shannon Lee – Popular singer/songwriter exploring universal themes of love found, love lost, with original jazz/pop/ soft rock perspective.
8 to 9:15 p.m.: The Bill Miller Band brings a cool mix of vintage and contemporary blues to shake things up.
11 a.m.-noon: The main stage gets off to a hot start with the Brazilian-Latin sounds of Reinaldo Brahn. Cross-breeding American sounds with his native Brazilian roots, delivers a racy artistic result.
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.: Catch Carolina Gator Gumbo with their spicy Cajun/Creole music, filled with dance, and culture from southwest Louisiana.
2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: The trio known as Lovely Budz blends reggae and rock for a smooth groove and a mellow vibe.
4 to 5. p.m.: Welcome Semaj and the Chosen Kings turning the attention to Soul music. Semaj the Artist (James ‘Semaj’ Hill) began his musical career early when he accompanied his mother in a Georgia church, but the real change came with his interest in the congas. He’d found his niche and now has performed at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, released the single ‘Rite Now’ on ITunes and is recording new music in Atlanta.
6:30 to 8 p.m.: Randy Franklin & The Sardines are the catch of the day with their choice original Americana-Rock along the same lines as Neil Young, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Bob Dylan.
8:30 to 9:30 p.m.: The Spongetones – this area’s very own Fab Four with their British invasion swagger and rock/pop skills known from here to The Big Apple to Japan and beyond. With world class musical skills, The ‘Tones take talented original songwriting with a Beatles/late 60s-70s slant, add tasty riffs, vocal finesse, memorable melodies, plus their inspiring personalities winning hearts and faithful fans since 1979.
1 to 2:30 p.m.: Gig Dover & The Big Love – gypsy, jazzy, funky Southern soul with a rock/pop world music spin.
4 to 5 p.m.: The Monday Night All Stars wrap up the festival weekend. Infamous stars of Monday Night at The Double Door Inn, they transformed the now-defunct club’s ‘slow night’ into a popular event with some catchy Motown-Funk. Their set list of covers drew crowds for sing-along and dance party fun.
Join all the music and magical fun at the 53rd ‘Festival in The Park, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Freedom Park, 1409 East Blvd., Charlotte. Details: 704-338-1060 or visit festivalinthepark.org.
Friday: Crashbox at Sandbar Grill, Rock Hill; Small Axe at McHale’s on Main, Rock Hill; Shannon Warren Band at Empire Pizza-Newport, Rock Hill; David Williams at The Handle Bar Tavern, Catawba; Troublemaker at Frog’s, Lancaster; Horsefly at T-Bone on The Lake, Lake Wylie; Frank Sciandra at Mickey’s Bar & Grill, Fort Mill; Donnie Honeycutt at Hobo’s, Fort Mill; Double Dog Dare at Dreamchaser’s Brewery, Waxhaw; Kids In America Wild Wing Cafe-Ayrsley, S, Charlotte; Fran Victor at The Lodge-Ballantyne, S. Charlotte; Devil’s Hatband at Eaglespeak Coffee House, S. Charlotte; Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte.
Saturday: Old English Festival of Bands (11:30 a.m.) at School District 3 Stadium, Rock Hill; Parker & Co. at Revolutions-Galleria, Rock Hill; Remedy Hollow Duo at Hartland’s, Rock Hill; Ben Gatlin at Original Empire Pizza, Rock Hill; Catawba River Monster at 21 Roadhouse, Fort Lawn; Abacab-Genesis Tribute at Sylvia Theatre, York; Cloud 9 at T-Bones on The Lake, Lake Wylie; Queen City Dub at SC Shore Club-Tega Cay, Fort Mill; Acoustic LJTT at Hobo’s, Fort Mill; Analog Daze at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s-Baxter, Fort Mill; Sons of Carolina at Brew’s Tavern, Fort Mill; Harper 7 Foote at Mickey’s Bar & Grill, Fort Mill; The Oneppo Brothers at John’s Place Neighborhood Bar, Fort Mill; The Apple Brothers Band at Pineville Tavern, Pineville; Stella Rising at Dreamchaser’s Brewery, Waxhaw; Hurricane Irma Relief Benefit Concert at Eagles peak Coffee House & Bar, Charlotte; Bad Romeo at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Rocklin’ For a Cure 2017 at The Fillmore, Charlotte.
Sunday: After Sundown band at The Handle Bar Tavern, Catawba; Jeff Shows at Pineville Tavern, Pineville;
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