Main Street Music Series

Published 3:11 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014

FARMVILLE — Town council members cast a “noteworthy” vote this month, harmoniously, and in unanimous crescendo, sounding their “ayes” of approval for the Main Street Music Series to use Crute Stage.

The free concerts will run from 6-9 p.m. on third Thursdays, from May until September.

Spencer Conover, a member of the music series’ board of directors, described Crute Stage as “a perfect match” for concerts when town council discussed the request during its February work session.

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Because the venue was once a theater, organizers point out in material supplied to council members, “it is the best structure for outdoor live music and performing arts in Farmville. The gentle slope of its lawn creates a comfortable and scenic amphitheater, providing unobstructed sight lines and ideal acoustics for its audience. The benefits of using a purpose-built structure that provides an ideal setting for performing arts are too great to pass up.”

The sale of alcohol was considered by organizers, and perhaps beer or wine tastings, but town council members, and Farmville Police Chief Doug Mooney, were not enthusiastic about the consumption of alcohol at that location when the possibility was raised last month prior to the official request for Crute Stage.

Town officials suggested the music series might be a better fit for the Farmers Market on North Street.

Organizers, however, did not include the sale of alcohol in their formal request to use Crute Stage and, in fact, stated in writing that “alcohol will not be served.”

Conover told council members that selling alcohol is an easy way for an event to make money, but that Crute Stage is too good a venue for the Main Street Music Series and organizers did not want to move to another location “just for alcohol,” he said.

Council member David E. Whitus told Conover that council members appreciate event organizers understanding the Town’s position on the alcohol issue.

Looking at it from the glass is half full perspective, Conover said it is “pushing us to be more creative.”

Farmville town manager Gerald Spates had urged town council to approve use of Crute Stage and also waive the fee.

Council did so.

“Really, it’s promoting downtown,” Spates said.

Town council member Jamie Davis agreed and expressed his faith that the music series will flourish as the years go by.

“It’s a great event…I know it’s sometimes a learn-as-you-go situation but I am very impressed and pleased with the efforts of ya’ll’s organization,” Davis told Conover, “and I think it may be years from now that the Town actually sees some of those benefits but I think it’s inevitable.”

Davis said the music series, which embraces a wide variety of musical genres, helped with “the overall feel of the community and opportunities that are available, but I think down the road it’s going to have a fiscal effect, as well. I’m very happy about that.”

In the material supplied to town council the music series committee states, “Our intent is to create a program that is known for a diverse range of quality, original music. We want to provide meaningful, cultural enrichment for the people of Farmville. We aim to engage people from all walks and stages of life.”

Among the musical styles scheduled for 2014 are bluegrass, gospel, jazz, Motown, country, funk, rock, soul, blues and World.

“We hope to attract talent from the surrounding region. Last year we had an act from California by-way-of Nashville. This was their first visit to Virginia and they couldn’t stop talking about the ambiance and beauty of Crute Stage. We consider that a real win for Farmville,” the committee members state.

Along with Conover, John Miller, Justin Reid, Allison Crews, Gary Hickman, and Jeffrey Everhart comprise the board of directors, which is recruiting more committee members as the series’ kick-off approaches in May.