An empty field next to the Garner Performing Arts Center greeted those arriving to Thursday’s Downtown Sounds: Music on the Lawn concert, with the town’s stage standing empty in the grass.
But the Chick-N-Que food truck sat next to the door of the GPAC ready for business, while signs directed patrons inside where The Central Park Band rocked a small crowd for an event moved inside because rain had hindered setup.
“About 200 (attended the event), which we were very pleased with given the weather and having to move indoors,” said John Hodges, executive director of the Garner Revitalization Association.
The last of the GRA-organized concert series, a 40 East concert slated for May 29, was knocked out entirely by the rain. This time, the skies would clear in time for the concert...but not with enough time to set up equipment. So organizers moved to Plan B.
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“Because we got the place here, we just went ahead and pulled it in,” Hodges said. “It was better than having to cancel it.”
Attendees were scattered throughout the GPAC as the band played their classic rock, pop and dance grooves. A scattering of people ranging from young children to older adults danced in front of the stage and in the aisle as others just took in the sounds from the energetic party band.
The final scheduled event of the four-concert summer series will be played by Spare Change on June 26 beginning at 6 p.m..
The free concert series was designed to promote downtown Garner, and was initially called Music On Main. It moved to the field next to GPAC and was re-billed Music Off Main until this year’s rebranding of Downtown Sounds. After sticking to bands with Garner ties last year, this year the series has featured more regional cover bands instead.