mtcd112Kingsport will be a hot ticket for live concerts this summer as downtown sponsors and Fun Fest get ready to turn up the volume with some extraordinary acts.

A few weeks ago, we learned the Grammy-Award winner Peter Frampton will take the stage at Fun Fest on Friday, July 18th. That’s what Pollstar is reporting and lots of folks are excited about the show. Evidently, REO Speedwagon was the original choice, but Frampton was the winning act according to an event organizer.

Last week, Pollstar also announced Southern Rock legends, The Marshall Tucker Band will appear at Fun Fest along Luke Bryan and the country duo Joey and Rory.

There’s finally some buzz about Downtown Kingsport’s Thursday night concert series sponsored by several area sponsors.

The season kicks off Saturday May 16th with Racks by The Tracks, a popular annual barbecue and brew event on the lawn of Kingsport’s train station. This daytime event always attracts a good crowd and this year, legendary bluesman Pinetop Perkins will be the inaugural concert.

After that, several concert websites are citing the following acts will be appearing as part of the popular weekly concerts on Broad Street continues now into its third year. Those acts may include;

May 28 – Jim Lauderdale
June 4 – Betty LaVette – great lady of Soul
June 11- Jypsi – The future of country
June 25 – Chatham County Line – Bluegrass/Alt Country
July 23 – The Belleville Outfit – Alt/Country
July 30 – The Legendary JCs – Blues/Funk/Soul
August 27 – The Bottle Rockets – Rock/Americana

These dates are confirmed by several ticketing websites including Pollstar, but are certainly subject up to change as sometimes contracts are not signed yet or last minute changes vary the schedule.

In addition to Fun Fest and the Downtown Concert Series, Doug Beatty and the developers working with the Bonefire Restaurant are talking up several live concerts at “The Bus Pit.”

Located next to the Bonefire, “The Bus Pit” (the sign still calls it “The Garage”) was supposed to open in mid-April with the Infamous StringDusters, but that was cancelled as construction has barely commenced on the new stage.

Several weeks ago, I toured the new venue and it looks like a promising opportunity for Kingsport. The former repair garage has a pit where mechanics worked underneath city school buses. Beatty hopes to house a full size bus in the middle of the restaurant to serve as a bar and entertain crowds up to 300 and appeal to the barbecue, beer and blues crowd.

Some of the artist websites reporting shows at the Bus Stop including visits by Greensky Bluegrass (5/6), James Intveid (5/8) and Webb Wilder’s website promotes a date on Wednesday May 20th.

Kingsport’s not the only place for live music this summer though…

Johnson City will host another Blue Plumb Festival this year with Acoustic Syndicate , Scott Miller , Malcomb Holcombe , Goose Creek Symphony and several local artists on three stages on Friday and Saturday, June 5th and 6th.

Gate City will once again host the annual Clinchfest featuring many traditional mountain musicians on Saturday and Sunday, June 12th and 13th and feature the up-and-coming local boy Brinley Addington, Fire In The Kitchen and many others.

Looking back over this schedule, there’s no doubt the hills will be alive with the sound of music this summer and we should have some great memories to look forward to.

If Downtown delivers on all the concerts they’ve been cooking up over the past several months, Kingsport will be the most talked about destination for terrific live shows in East Tennessee. Should be fun – See ya on the streets!