Thursday Night Live will return for year 14 as local musical acts will gather in downtown London to play shows for the townspeople every Thursday from June 6 to August 8.
Thursday Night Live’s weekly schedule is sometimes roughly structured by theme, such as grouping gospel acts together one night and songwriters together on another, but there is no strict thematic schedule, according to Chris Minton, a committee member and organizer for the event. There is an open mic night on both the opening and closing nights of June 6 and August 8.
The opening for a Thursday Night Live performance starts at 7 p.m. and will last roughly an hour and the second act will then follow and play from around 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Minton said the goal this year was to keep the event even more local than usual, mostly bring the event back to its roots and also save some of the budget for a more exuberant festival for year 15.
There are few returning acts this year, such as Kites and Jordan Allen & the Bellwethers, but most of the acts will be performing at Thursday Night Live for the first time, according to Minton.
Some of the acts who will be appearing for the first time are Deadbeat Scoundrels, The Bowling Family and Pearlie Jenkins.
The open mic nights, which bookend the Thursday Night Live slate also help the festival get back to its roots, according to Minton, since there were open mic nights most weeks when Thursday Night Live first started. Since then and until now, it has been uncommon for an open mic opportunity at Thursday Night Live.
The Betweeners will be closing out the final show at Thursday Night Live on August 8 and are the first band to ever perform at Thursday Night Live, according to Minton.
Minton said Thursday Night Live was designed to bring the community downtown on a night when they otherwise would not be there. He said this played a big role in why the event takes place on Thursday and not a weekend, since downtown can be hectic on Fridays and Saturdays and people also often travel or make plans on these days.
“In a nutshell, it was designed to give people a place to go in town so they can be proud of their downtown,” Minton said.
Daniel Carmack, vice president of London Downtown and a city council member, helps put together Thursday Night Live and echoed Minton’s sentiments.
“A lot of people in the community enjoy coming out to hear folks, whether they’re local or from around the region,” Carmack said. “I think it means they get to come out and see their friends and their family and just enjoy some time in downtown London together.”
Thursday Night Live will be located downtown and start with an open mic at 7 p.m.
June 6 - Songwriters Round featuring Dalton Mills, Jordan King and Donovan Howard
June 13 - Gospel Night with The Bowling Family and the FBC Worship Team
June 20 - Kites and Sydney Adams
June 27 - Rachel Crowe Blues Band and Pearlie Jenkins
July 4 - Handsome and the Humbles with The Catdaddies
July 18 - Brother Oliver and special guest The Deadbeat Scoundrels
July 25 - Caleb Gilbert & Tarshack Revival and Jordan Allen & the Bellwethers
August 1 - Jericho Woods and Bourbon Branch
August 8 - 2019 Finale: The Betweeners and Open Mic Night