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Big acts coming to Celebrate Virginia Live
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Date published: 4/26/2012
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Global warming has never been more evident. Just look at Celebrate Virginia Live.
Since debuting as Fredericksburg's outdoor concert destination in 2009, the concerts produced by Celebrate Virginia Live simply keep getting hotter.
This year's series kicks off on Saturday, May 5, with a performance by legendary Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd. The concert will mark the second consecutive year that Lynyrd Skynyrd has visited Fredericksburg via Celebrate Virginia Live.
"I couldn't be happier with the way everything is moving along," said David Peterson, president of Seven Hills Presents and promoter of Celebrate Virginia Live. "The fact that we are continually getting bands the caliber that we are is great for the Fredericksburg community."
In addition to Lynyrd Skynyrd, a number of other world-class bands will grace the Job.com Pavilion Stage, including Willie Nelson (May 19), the Band Perry (May 24), ZZ Top, Three Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson (June 3), Colt Ford (June 15), the Wailers (June 23), Justin Moore and Josh Thompson (July 8), Bruce Hornsby (July 26) and Foreigner (Aug. 3).
With such a strong slate of country and rock artists this year, Celebrate Virginia Live is cementing its reputation as a prime destination for budding and veteran acts.
"We see ourselves as a legitimate place that bands want to play," said Peterson. "It was great in 2011 to have Lynyrd Skynyrd accept our invitation, and it is equally [gratifying] that they want to come back in 2012. The music industry is a very small industry, and you have to work hard to develop a positive reputation as an enterprise."
What started as primarily a country-driven series has evolved into a showcase of artists across the musical spectrum. Celebrate Virginia Live hopes to draw in more diverse acts, while adhering to the wants of the Fredericksburg community.
"It's generally a country town, and we strive to accommodate the wishes of country fans," said Peterson. "We also have to recognize other forms of music. That's why we've brought in the likes of [Hornsby] and Foreigner. What's really important to me with these acts is that their catalogs hold up to scrutiny, and they can still deliver them in a way that is valid and relevant."
This year, fans will notice a few changes at the Job.com Pavilion. The most notable changes come in the form of a face-lift.
"Our visitors this year will see a venue that is one more year matured," Peterson said. "It's going to have more continuity to it."
In what has proven to be a nonstop learning experience, Peterson promises to keep his ears open to his most important audience--the fans.
"We're now in our fourth season, and we've been on a never-ending quest to improve the customer experience," said Peterson. "We won't rest until every single person walks out of the venue and says 'that is something I really want to do again.'"
Jesse Scott is a freelance writer and Fredericksburg native. Email him at
Where: Celebrate Virginia Live, Gordon W. Shelton Boulevard, Fredericksburg Tickets and info: celebratevirginialive.com THE SCHEDULE May 5: Lynyrd Skynyrd ($25-$100) May 19: Willie Nelson ($18.50-$100) May 24: The Band Perry ($21.50-$100) June 3: Gang of Outlaws Tour, featuring ZZ Top, Three Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson ($26.50-$100) June 15: Colt Ford ($12.50-$75) June 23: The Wailers ($10-$75) July 8: Justin Moore and Josh Thompson ($15-$100) July 26: Bruce Hornsby ($18.50-$100) Aug. 3: Foreigner ($16.50-$100)
JUNE 3: GANG OF OUTLAWS: GRETCHEN WILSON, 3 DOORS DOWN, ZZ TOP
JUNE 15: COLT FORD
MAY 19: WILLIE NELSON
MAY 24: THE BAND PERRY
AUG. 3: FOREIGNER