Downtown ROMP draws early crowd during grand opening weekend

October 20, 2018 | 2:33 pm

Updated October 20, 2018 | 3:16 pm

High Fidelity is the first band to play on the outdoor stage of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Musseum during Downtown ROMP. | Photo by Ashley Sorce

Today the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum is offering Owensboro a preview of what they hope to be a popular new downtown concert series — Downtown ROMP. With successes like Friday After 5 and the City of Owensboro’s Bluegrass on the Banks and Live on the Banks concert series, the Hall of Fame is sure to find their fair share of music lovers also.

As a part of their grand opening weekend, the Hall of Fame is offering today’s Downtown ROMP free to the public. Four bands are set to take the outdoor stage with the downtown Owensboro riverfront and iconic blue bridge as the backdrop.

“We are going to be able to offer somewhat of the festival feel that ROMP brings, but it will be shortened into one day,” said Marketing Director, Carly Smith. “The idea behind it is to bring the people to the downtown area.”

And that is exactly what happened today. Over an hour before the first band was set to take the stage, people were setting up chairs in the lawn behind the Hall of Fame. Although outside, the atmosphere is intimate, allowing fans close up access to some of bluegrass’ most popular musicians.

“These bands are here for a reason,” Smith said, “Because the fans love them.”

Future Downtown ROMP events will be ticketed, but Smith says the Hall of Fame is using this as a measure for all operations — including capacity, food and beverage and merchandise sales.

“It was a good sign when some people stopped by at the Sam Bush show last night and they came all the way from Arkansas for today’s event,” Smith said. “That’s an amazing draw.”

Smith expects a large turnout today because the event is free event. But future ticketed events like the Ricky Skaggs and Marty Stuart concerts in November are already selling fast, Smith says. Currently, tickets sales span 19 states and about 175 zip codes.

“With the grand opening, we have noticed an increase in ticket sales and they are far reaching,” Smith said. “It’s not just Owensboro who is buying tickets.”

Here is what you can expect from today’s Downtown ROMP:

1. Gates opened at noon.
2. See map for available parking.

3. You can bring chairs, but space is limited.
4. No coolers.
5. No pets.
6. Food vendors will be onsite.
7. Exhibits open at noon for touring with paid admission.
8. Schedule for the day: 1 p.m. High Fidelity; 3 p.m. Front Country; 5 p.m. Town Mountain; 7 p.m. Yonder Mountain String Band
9. Address: 311 W. 2nd Street
10. Bring your dancin’ shoes!

October 20, 2018 | 2:33 pm

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