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The Villages Amphitheater announces 2011 summer concert series

Once again, it’s that time of year when we get the long-awaited answer to “Who’s coming to the amphitheater this year?” The Villages Amphitheater in Fayetteville is excited to welcome back its presenting sponsor, Mercedes Benz of South Atlanta, to bring you the 2011 Summer Concert Series.

This year also brings some exciting changes designed to make the Villages a more affordable and comfortable place to enjoy great entertainment.

Kicking off the season on June 4 is vintage crooner Bobby Vinton. Billboard Magazine calls Bobby Vinton “the all-time most successful love singer of the ‘Rock Era’.” Bobby will be joined by a 10-piece orchestra and will be singing his greatest hits including, “Roses are Red”, “Blue Velvet”, and “Mr. Lonely”. Also appearing that evening are local favorites, the 4-man vocal group, The Sock Hops.

On June 18, The Villages welcomes 60’s pop group The Association. With over 80 Million records sold, they were heard constantly on radio stations all over the country in the late 1960’s. Their hit, “Never My Love” was ranked as one of the most played songs of all time on American radio. The Association also had Top10 hits with “Cherish”, “Along Comes Mary”, and “Windy”.

July 9 brings a touch of Las Vegas to The Villages stage with a big band show called “Simply Sinatra.” Nothing says classy and cool like the songs of Frank Sinatra. Join performer Steve Lippia for an evening of magical “Ol’ Blue Eyes” hits, including “Come Fly With Me,” “New York, New York,” and “My Way.” Prepare to be wowed by his youthful charisma, swingin’ stage presence, and sublime vocals. 

July 23 will be a night to remember with a legendary performance from Roy Clark. Roy earned CMA’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1973, and still brings that magic to the stage today. Roy is best known for hosting the TV show “Hee Haw” from 1969 – 1992. He has been a popular figure in country music for decades, but is also known for his instrumental skill on the guitar and banjo and has been a major influence to country and bluegrass musicians. Music lovers will certainly want to witness his “fast picking” that night.

Finishing out the series is the original lineup of pop/country group The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. On Aug. 13, they will treat fans to a variety of hit songs that scored on the Top 40 and the Country billboard charts over the last 40 years including “Mr. Bojangles”, “Make a Little Magic”, and “Fishin’ in the Dark” among others.

One of the exciting changes at the Villages this year is the more affordable ticket prices. Series tickets now start at $75(+ tax) for general admission lawn seats and $115(+ tax) for reserved seats. Another change is that those seats are also going to have more room between them to provide a more comfortable space for everyone.

Brian Wismer, amphitheater manager and Main Street director for the City of Fayetteville, explains. “In light of our current economy, we spent a lot of time discussing what we can do this year to make the Villages experience worth every penny to the customer. For starters, we retooled our ticket pricing to make it easier for everyone to attend. Then, we spread our seats farther apart so that everyone now has more elbow room, nearly 6 inches more than before. Lastly, we tried to bring forth a group of performers that our loyal customers have been asking for over the years. We are now one of the most affordable, most comfortable concert venues in the region, and it’s all right here in Fayetteville.”

Series ticket renewals are currently in progress. New series tickets will be available to the general public beginning Feb. 25.

Tickets to individual concerts will go on sale Mar. 25, and range from $15 - $30. Tables for eight are $400 ($50/person) in the Orchestra pit, and $250 ($32/person) at the tiered tables. Tickets to all shows will be sold via the website at and at the Historic Train Depot in Downtown Fayetteville. For sponsorships and other info, please call 770-719-4173.

The Villages Amphitheater is owned by the Downtown Development Authority and managed by the Main Street Tourism Association of Fayetteville.



We'll know soon enough.

1. Molly Pleasant Plunkett, and the twangin banjos.
2. Andy Griffith and Aunt Bea, sangin
3. Roy Acuff's Son, "Freight Train," and Cousin Zeke.
4. An All-Star Rock band from the Alabama Border
5. Five Gospel Quartets from Nashville, Missouri.

Hats will be passed.

I hear, but it may just be a joke, that this is the Talent:

1. Glenn Campbell acting as Charlie Sheen.
2. Tammy Wynette's middle daughter, Possum Jones.
3. Ringo Starr with Regis Philbin.
4. Kathy Lee Gifford with Frank.
5. The Six Bass Singers starring Three Tenors & and Slim Whitman.

The Fred's target demographic is mid- to late-baby boomers.
I looked up a number of bands from the late 60s to late 70s who made the Billboard charts to see who hasn't played the Fred yet...
<li>Bob Seger</li>
<li>The Hollies</li>
<li>C.W. McCall</li>
<li>Carl "Kung Fu Fighting" Douglas</li>
<li>Wild Cherry</li>
<li>5 man Electrical Band</li>
<li>Todd Rundgren</li>
<li>Iron Maiden</li>
<li>Sugar Hill Gang</li></ul>

Slim pickings!

really? i mean, i'm sure many, many boomers attend the SCS, but hell, they didn't die when they started their families, did they. they could bump the target demographic down a tad and get some 80s acts in there without completely alienating you old farts. there seem to be quite a few 30s/40s who attend, too.

Brain Wismer, Villages Amphitheater Manager, is quoted as saying, "Lastly, we tried to bring forth a group of performers that our loyal customers have been asking for over the years." Really? There has been a clamoring for Roy Clark & Bobby Vinton? I find that hard to believe.

I don't understand why these venues even bother to put out a wish list of acts to be considered for the next year's series.

Number one, neither the Fred nor the Villages can afford most of the acts on the list. Especially The Fred's list. Chicago, Crosby Stills and Nash, Alan Jackson, John Fogerty and the like are not within the Freds budget.

Number two, its hard to believe that when the acts are announced, that those acts really were the ones that the customers selected. I'd be willing to pay a little more for better quality acts than the Village People.

Maybe its time to consider leasing out the Fred to a honest to God concert promoter and see what he/she can do with the quality of the acts. Especially given the fact the Fred lost almost $70,000 last year that had to be subsidized by tax payer money.

JeffC's picture

I tried to get them to consider an offer from the biggest concert promoter in the Southeast who manages Chastain and Lakewood among other venues. They were not interested in even discussing it or hearing his proposal.

There is no imagination nor guts involved in the management!

So, we sell a bunch of season tickets for Friday Nights (or is it Saturday) and then that is all the money available to hire such as Possum Jones!

Even at that decision about cheap season tickets, doesn't that leave six (6) other nights in the week to hire talent worth 75,000 plus dollars?
With some ads, I think we could sell 2000 seats at $50 plus!

You can't convince me that there isn't real talent floating around on tour who would stop by the airport, get picked up there and perform here an hour or so for $75-100,000 dollars!

We just don't have the moxie hired nor the imagination of good management to do it.

Besides if one failed, then PTC management might get blamed!

It is not a problem of finding excellent talent who would sell tickets, it is lack of daring on the city's part, and my goodness it could be as much trouble and work as a Youth Center, lord forbid!

Wow...that is a shame! I could understand that attitude if the venue was profitable. But with declining ticket sales and losses of almost $70,000 that taxpayers are expected to cover, that kind of response is hard to fathom. I'm sure the concert business is tough these days with the economy being in the ditch. And no disrespect to the Fred staff. I believe they are doing the best they can with limited financial resources. However, someone like you are describing would have much deeper pockets to attract better quality acts than what is available now. Wonder why the resistance to even considering a lease proposal. I fear that if something doesn't change, we are going to lose one of the unique entertainment opportunities we have here in PTC.

I didn't like the idea of leasing out the Fred a few years ago when it was discussed but since then the line up gone so far down hill. Between that and the financial loses its time to try something else. The Fred is way to nice of a venue to just let it go to waste year after year.

NUK_1's picture

Yeah, go ahead and do the Summer Concert Series as always, but these venues can be used for other activities on other nights. Some FC schools have their chorus concerts and other performances in either churches or the schools themselves....why not rent it out to them on occasion also? Bring in some stand-up comedians, maybe a few musical performances that aren't catered to the same crowd as the summer series, plays, etc.

There is no reason to build and maintain these very nice facilities and then try to have them be self-sustaining with few performances a year and the rest of the time just sitting idle.

Both are good assets but a lot of money has gone into them and will keep going into them as long as they are even open a few nights of the year. Why not USE them? NO, I'm not talking about having a heavy metal headbanging good time until 2am 6 nights a week either. There's plenty of middle ground between "business as usual" and "nuisance to the neighborhood" or whatever.

when i was in high school, we used the Fred for all sorts of community events: the mcintosh community choir put on a performance or two, we had a battle of the bands there a few years, hell! when i was elementary age, i was on that stage for a few recitals and performances myself. haven't lived in PTC for the last 7 years, but i didn't realize it laid empty until the weekends these days. that's a shame.

you have to use, nobody is going to have all that many options.

Sorry, don't see anything there to attract my presence & dollars! Bring back the Swingin' Medallions and I'll be there!

i agree! my family are big fans of the swinging medallions. there's a whole mess of us, and a good number buy the fred series package each year. the enthusiasm for the performers has been on the decline over the years, though, and i'm betting it's not long til our contribution to ticket revenues for the fred start petering out.

Rather than work hard to manage it the city prefers it to "peter out!"

Have you seen a committee of local knowledgeable citizens being appointed to make it go?

Who did we hire to manage it? Someone from Fayetteville with that wonderful downtown to their credit, making six figures or close.

G35 Dude's picture

Good grief, Roy will be 78 years old when he performs here. Is that the best we can do?

Now Roy is still good, but I'm betting they got him on a package deal because he's playing in Hiawassee On Fri night and here on Saturday!

Reagan was about that age wasn't he? Nancy took care of the details.

What has Roy's age got to do with it? Easy! Demographics! 99% of the folks who have even heard of Roy Clark much like his music are over 65-70 years old and are not likely to go to a concert. I've heard some complaints about The Fred needing to book newer acts, but my God, the Villages is "old folks music on steroids"! If the intent at The Villages is draw an older crowd, congratulations nailed it!

RKS's picture

....none of those choices for the shows interest me in the least.

You tend to delusional about PTC's relative place in the world...comparing the Fred, or the Villages, to Lakewood or Chastain is lunacy. The market here is much, much smaller, and unless you put Justin Bieber on stage, no one's driving from Atlanta down here for a concert.

That means small acts, with smaller costs, hence, Roy Clark (who can still sing), Bobby Vinton, etc.

Big acts have been tried, promoted, and despite best efforts, failed. Randy Travis filled the Villages, standing room only, yet they lost money. Two nights of LeAnn Rimes lost money. Grand Funk Railroad filled the Villages this summer, and lost money.

The joy of these facilities is not necessarily hearing top name, high dollar acts; it's getting out on a beautiful evening with your friends and neighbors, enjoying some cost effective entertainment, and supporting your community.

Do some simple Google research, see what a name act will cost you, then figure out a way to make it work on the Southside. Chances are, whatever ideas you have, they've already been tried, with little success.

Personnally, I love that the Villages (my favorite of the two) has gone down in price, taken out a few seats for comfort, and come up with a schedule that meets the needs of the people who actually attend and support the amphitheater.

mudcat's picture

Saw Roy Clark last year in Branson and he is the best guitar player I have ever seen. Immense talent and age has nothing to do with it.

And right you are, concerts around here are as much about getting out and socializing as it is about the acts. I too prefer The Villages, but the Fred has really improved and is quite nice.

Or Chastain?

I'm partial to the Fred..I enjoy a golf cart ride to a show.

" The joy of these facilities is not necessarily hearing top name, high dollar acts; it's getting out on a beautiful evening with your friends and neighbors, enjoying some cost effective entertainment, and supporting your community."

I'll give you props for that statement though...I feel the same way.

I stand by my snoozefest comment for the Villages this year though. To each his own.

Jesus get a new Web Page Manager or get a Manager to oversee this. This picture an announcement has been front page for weeks .

Speaking ill of Roy Clark will NOT be tolerated here. One does not come here to mock Roy Clark. This is your only warning, hippie.

For the money,I had much rather see the Tribute Series @ The Fred. At least it would be a night of hit songs everyone knows. If you saw the Bon Jovi Tribute band last year , you saw a great show for Cheap ! Rumor is Slippery When Wet will be back in 2011 , plus 3 more acts to be announced. Maybe the Villages should try and get The Tribute series to play in Fayetteville.

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