Changes coming really sound good
Saturday, February 16, 2013 7:35 PM
Read Chris Trainor's column on page 2A today. He tackles a topic that has been tackled often before in this newspaper: There are things to do in Greenwood.
Live After Five is but one of the opportunities residents have for entertainment, one of the reasons they can remain in Greenwood and not have to travel an hour away for a good time. And now, the word from Greenwood city officials is the concert series is getting an overhaul.
Now, anytime change is announced, we all know what happens. Nothing builds a wall of resistance more than change. But this change is good and sensible.
Crowds have waned of late, according to City Manager Charlie Barrineau, and sponsorships have declined. Tack on the challenges weather provides open-air concerts, especially during summer months, and it's easy to see the series can be in trouble.
What is Live After Five all about? It's a free concert series designed to bring people to Uptown Greenwood. For the most part, it works. What a great way to start to wind the week down. When there's no giant thunderstorm brewing and bringing high winds and lightning, you can't beat the opportunity to head Uptown after work on a Thursday and enjoy live music. Plus, there are vendors on the sidelines, along with the cordoned-off brick "pasture" where the wine and beer drinkers can congregate. Many who come for the music wind up staying for a dinner out at one of Uptown's fine eateries. It's a win-win. Or can be.
Some of the changes in the works include avoiding the unpredictable summer months by having the concerts in the spring and early fall, when the weather should be ideal. There is also talk of starting the concerts at 6, giving people a bit more time to get out of the office, go home and change (if need be) and not miss the music.
Speaking of music, Barrineau said the city wants to change the format a bit. Die-hard Beach Music fans need not fear. They will still get their required dosages of Swingin' Medallions and Fabulous Expressions, but the city hopes to get some other musicians in, bands that might help adjust the median age of the audience a bit downward.
These changes do not sound like a bad thing at all; in fact, they sound like an opportunity the city has to build on what has, for the most part, been a successful endeavor. We look forward to what the revamped Live After Five can and will be. Oh, and we also say thank you to Hack Bartley, who was instrumental in building the concert series and lining up bands, but who has decided it is time to turn that job over to someone else.