Following a yearlong hiatus for most musicians and concert organizers in the area, live music is making a comeback this year. Local, regional and international musicians are making their way back to the stage and, for the many music-lovers across the area, a sense of normalcy is being restored.
Along with Friday After 5, PorchFest and other performances scheduled for 2021 across Owensboro bars and restaurants, The Eric Group is preparing for a summer season in full swing as well.
Owner Heath Eric said his company — which handles everything from planning and marketing to stage setup for performances — was fortunate to have been able to hold shows last year in Beaver Dam, albeit on a limited basis.
“We adapted very early on and, obviously, safety was our top priority,” Eric said. “We held the first-drive in concert in the state with The Kentucky Headhunters and it sold out.”
A lot of that adaptation came from the clients, Eric noted, and the Beaver Dam amphitheater presented a way to safely provide musical entertainment.
Still, Eric and his team are seeing interest in performing skyrocket this year, as stipulations for events lessen and more people become vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The response we’ve seen already is nothing short of phenomenal,” he said. “It’s overwhelming.”
The Eric Group will be bringing back its ‘90s Dance Party at Lu-Ray Amphitheater in Central City, with C&C Music Factory and Tag Team headlining the event. That event is scheduled for Sept. 17.
The Eric Group also has George Thurgood and The Beach Boys headlining concerts in the area. Bret Michaels will be headlining a major music experience in Madisonville this year, which Eric described as “the largest three-day music festival this region has ever seen.”
Eric said the main reason his company was able to schedule those events is because of his team’s commitment to safety.
“It’s a whole ecosystem of people working together to stay safe,” he said. “Because of that, we’re definitely moving in a better direction.”
During the worst times of the pandemic, The Eric Group also learned a few tricks or two in the face of adversity. Live streaming, for example, was a skill that helped the company stay in touch with fans, he said.
“We’re staying busy and our company continues to grow,” he said. “Our motto is, ‘We make things happen.’ And we do.”