Thursday, 08 April 2021 18:30

Plaza Jam tenatively scheduled for this summer; Cole starts new outdoor music series

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Plaza Jam tenatively scheduled for this summer; Cole starts new outdoor music series RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — The city’s summer concert series Plaza Jam is tentatively back on for the 2021 season.

Rockingham Events Coordinator Kim Williams announced on Facebook Thursday afternoon that performances have been booked.

However, state COVID-19 guidelines currently hinder the monthly concerts.

As pointed out in the post, outdoor mass gatherings are presently limited to crowds of 100, per Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order.

Williams said he's hoping the limit will change by the time of the first concert in May.

“As the event dates approach and guidelines are reassessed, we will keep you updated on any changes,” Williams said in the post. “We are hopeful and prepared to continue the series safely and we appreciate your continued support.”

The city wound up canceling every performance last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot were supposed to take the stage in May, followed by The Entertainers, Craig Woolard and the Embers, The Tonez, the Tams and the North Tower Band.

Williams said the same bands have been rescheudled for this year.

The Tams have performed at every Plaza Jam since it started, according to Williams, even playing the day after frontman Little Redd’s birthday one year.

The North Tower Band made its Plaza Jam debut in 2019 and The Entertainers last performed in 2017. Lowder is a former member of The Entertainers.

While live music took a hit due to the pandemic, Cole Auditorium hosted several “carcerts” in late 2020, with bands performing in front of the building and spectators staying in or near their vehicles.

This year, the Cole is hosting a new outdoor series: Live at the Lake.

So far, the only act to be announced is Caroline Owens, a gospel and bluegrass performer. The announcement was made on Facebook March 31.

The concert is scheduled for April 30 at the amphitheatre by the lake on the Richmond Community College campus. Tickets are $5 and the show starts at 6 p.m.

The Berry Patch also hosted several bands last fall and has held one concert so far this spring.