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Blue Skies are back

Concert series returns Wednesday

POSTED: October 1, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Main Street Gainesville’s semiannual Blue Skies Concert series starts this Wednesday with a show by local soul and jazz singer Monica Spears.

The series will bring free concerts to downtown Gainesville every Wednesday in October in order to bring foot traffic to the square to help support local businesses.

“Any time you have people on the square, you have a chance to bring them into your store,” said Don Griffin, owner of Frames You-Nique. “I usually try to do something special during the concert to get some of the crowd to come visit my store.”

Each hourlong concert starts at noon, in time for local employees to attend during their lunch breaks. All of the artists come from North Georgia and play a variety of styles, from rhythm and blues to country.

“The artists that we have this season are great because they appeal to a wide audience,” said Regina Mansfield, manager of Main Street Gainesville, which organizes the concerts. “We have R&B to Motown to country and everything in between.”

Anywhere from 100 to 200 people are expected to attend each concert.

Spears was chosen as the first act because her local following could help attract people to the rest of the series, Mansfield said.

“Normally it takes a little bit of time for people to catch on,” Mansfield said. “Monica is really talented and has a pretty good following in Gainesville, and if people know she’s out there, they’ll come.

“It’s a nice atmosphere, and once we get people down there, they generally get into the habit of coming back.”

Other artists to perform this month are country singer Alex Hall, acoustic musician David Boyd and singer-songwriter Karl Helper.

Main Street Gainesville is a nonprofit organization that coordinates and hosts events to promote the downtown district.

On Friday, the group will host this season’s final “First Friday” concert from 6-10 p.m. on the square and feature the Fly Betty Band.

The organization also hosts “Trick or Treat on the Square” for local children on Halloween as well as the “Jingle Mingle,” which features music and Santa Claus, on Nov. 21.


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