Average nightly attendance was up for Denison’s Music on Main summer concert series and organizers are already planning for next year’s shows.
Ty England wrapped up the series Friday, bringing another summer of free entertainment to a close in the historic downtown district of Denison. Denison Live organizes the event each year as a means of providing free, family-friendly entertainment to the city’s citizens and visitors.
Denison Main Street Director Donna Dow said the attendance numbers are up and the city is very happy everyone had fun this summer. Dow said there were an estimated 15,000 attendees over the nine weekly concerts. She said that number is essentially the same as last year’s 10 shows, meaning more people came out per night.
“We have had another exciting year,” Dow said. “We see a lot of interest in the music we have. We want to have family-friendly entertainment, so we work really hard to make sure that we do. Our booking agent knows a lot of the talent and the reputation they (artists) have. We really concentrate on that first and foremost.”
Dow said pricing is also a factor in determining which acts to get. She explained Denison is looking for bands that will attract a large crowd while providing a diverse range of genres. She said country music tends to perform the best, but the city tries to have a mix of different styles of country music to accompany the rock, blues and other types of entertainers.
“We want to bring people downtown to have a good time,” Dow said. “That’s the Main Street Department’s goal. We want to expose them to the businesses. We want them to be extremely happy coming downtown. We want people to have great memories. As far as the city’s concerned, we want the quality of life to be awesome in Denison. We feel like these concerts are a big boost to that.”
She said there have been a number of efforts to get the businesses to be involved in the concert series and what has been the most successful is having vendors set up during the concerts to get exposure for their respective establishments. Dow said there are also a lot of different activities for children to keep them entertained while the concerts take place.
Dow said the Main Street committee begins talking about the next series while the current concerts are happening. She said there is year-round planning for the next series, and one aspect the city has pride in is how it hasn’t had the same headliner repeated.
The Main Street director said by the first of the year, Denison will know who it wants to get for the series. That is when the committee will begin seeking sponsors to determine what the budget will be.
“It’s been a really great season,” Dow said of this year’s shows. “We appreciate all the people coming out. We can see our crowds growing. It is nice to put the concerts on. We like music — it’s really nice when citizens and visitors come out to enjoy what we have to offer.”
The concert series began on May 24 with the McNeills and other acts that performed included Blackhawk, Monte Montgomery, Bruce Robinson & Kelly Willis, Shooter Jennings, Cordova, Scooter Brown Band, Ghost Dance Band and Chris Colston.