Future of TNL uncertain as 14th season comes to close

Photo by Nita Johnson

The Betweeners were the closing act of the 14th season of Thursday Night Live last week. They were the band that initiated the Thursday Night Live weekly summer concerts in April 2006. 

The final session of Thursday Night Live culminated 14 years of free musical concerts on the steps of the Laurel County Courthouse and featured The Betweeners.

Chris Minton thanked all those who have been a part of the TNL series over the past years, dating back to the idea from Jamie Gaddis and continuing through the current year. He recognized all those who have played a role in the sound, setup, scheduling, planning and coordination of the event. He also praised those who have supported the event by attending as well as the many performers who have displayed their talents to the area.

He said Thursday Night's event ended the 14th season of TNL with The Betweeners - who were the inspiration for the weekly music series.

"We want to thank The Betweeners. They were the first group to play back on April 20, 2006 and they were the inspiration for the Thursday Night Live," he said. "We want to thank them for being here and for all of you who have come out."

Minton also made a plea to continue the TNL series to the crowd.

"If this does continue next year it will be held at the Town Center Park. That is, if it continues," Minton said. "It's in the hands of the powers that be and I'm not one of them. So if you have enjoyed these concerts, call the Mayor and let him know you want it to continue."

Thursday Night Live has launched at the beginning of June with weekly concerts that continue through early August each year. Many local artists have taken the stage in front of the Laurel County Courthouse, as well as featuring some renowned musicians such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, which always drew large crowds.

The concert series has also revived some 70s and 80s local bands such as Yesterday's Wine and Sneaky Pete as well as current bands such as Pistol Whip, Frontier and County Wide who currently have a strong following.

Many solo artists and musicians have also made their debut on the TNL stage and have since expanded their musical genre and groups to perform in other venues in the area.

These concerts were performed free to the public but did offer food trucks and drinks over the past two years, and was conducted on Main Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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