A new location and admission cost for this year’s Laurinburg After Five concert series may help attract larger crowds, according to organizers.
This year’s concerts will be held on the soccer fields at the James Morgan Recreation Complex on Turnpike Road. Murphy-Brown, LLC is the naming sponsor for the series this summer.
“We have had a great relationship with the university and are very grateful for their hospitality throughout the years,” said David McLamb, chair of the chamber board of directors. “However, the Morgan Complex will allow for more family friendly activities, such as the swings, splash pads, and playgrounds to draw a more diverse crowd. In addition, the concession facilities afford a more permanent restroom facility for our attendees. We hope these improvements will allow for larger crowds and more activity.”
The series, put on by Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce, has been held for 15 years on the campus of St. Andrews University.
“St. Andrews is our hero, we love St. Andrews and they have been fantastic over the last 15 years,” said Kim Liles, chair of the chamber’s Laurinburg After Five committee. “Laurinburg After Five is a great thing and there’s always a way to make things better.”
The five concerts lined up for this summer feature three groups new to the Laurinburg After Five series: The Night Move Band will play on May 9, the Carolina Breakers on July 4, and The Tams will finish off the series on Sept. 6. This lineup will bring more well-known beach music groups to Laurinburg, Liles said.
“The Tams are new. Never ever have we showcased anybody that big in Laurinburg,” said Liles. “The Tams are huge. The band in July, Carolina Breakers, were the number one band for beach music last year.”
The series will kick off on April 11 with Too Much Sylvia, and Sea Cruz will perform on June 13. While in the past there has been no admission charge to the concerts, this year a $1 fee will be implemented. Children under 12 will still be admitted free of charge.
“The charge is nominal enough that no one will be discouraged from attending, however, over the five event series, this will help our committee to be able to pay for known bands to draw people from surrounding areas to come to our events,” said Liles. “This will allow us to improve our events and give our attendees a better show.”
The chamber hopes that the addition of headline acts will attract more out-of-town audience members. About half of the Laurinburg After Five audience travels from surrounding counties in North and South Carolina.
“That’s one reason we’re going to start charging a dollar, so we actually know how many people are coming and have some interaction with people,” said Chamber President Tonia Stephenson. “We know we get a lot of folks from Marlboro County and Richmond and Dillon, but we want to see if we can get people from around the Carolinas to come and stay the night and eat breakfast here and put some dollars back into the local economy.”
Vendors will still be welcome to each of these events. If anyone is interested in being a vendor or sponsoring the event, they are encouraged to call the Kaye Buie at the Chamber at 276-7420 or email to email@example.com.