Mills to host concert series


Staff Writer

Monday, March 27, 2017

People will soon be able to drink, eat and be entertained on the campus of the Rocky Mount Mills.

The mills recently announced the first-ever free outdoor concert series starting next month on the mills’ lawn. The music series is a partnership with Schoolkids Records and WUNC, which will be dubbed the Schoolkids Records presents the WUNC Mill Music Sessions.

Schoolkids Records, a retail independent record store based in the Triangle, was founded in 1974 and is one of the longest running music retail stores in the country. Rocky Mount native Stephen Judge, owner of Schoolkids Records, said being a part of this event and the entire Rocky Mount Mills project is personally gratifying.

“I have a tremendous amount of pride and passion poured into this and I know everyone at Schoolkids is looking forward to making this event a tradition for years to come, helping bring great talent to my hometown,” Judge said.

Mills officials said the concert experience will be open to the public and family-friendly. People are urged to bring their own lawn chairs. Evan Covington Chavez, development manager for the Rocky Mount Mills, said the mills is fast becoming one of Eastern North Carolina’s premier live, work and play destinations.

“This concert series, along with the mills upcoming restaurants and breweries, enhance the playful environment on campus and appeal to anyone who enjoys good music,” Chavez said.

Scott Roberts, general manager for the Rocky Mount Mills, said the outdoor concert series is part of the mills’ process to draw people to the entire campus because he acknowledged there are people still asking questions about what Capitol Broadcasting Co. is doing with the re-development of the mills’ campus.

“If we can draw 800 to 1,500 people to the campus, it gives us maximum exposure and does something that isn’t being done in Rocky Mount,” Roberts said. “I know the city of Rocky Mount does it’s “First Friday” series, but this is sort of a different scale in what they’re doing. We’re not trying to compete with them, but this is kind of a different genre.”

Roberts added the upcoming outdoor concert series is similar to WUNC’s Back Porch Music on the Lawn’s spring and summer music series being held at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham.

“It’s such a cool scene that’s developing down at Rocky Mount Mills,” said David Brower, program director for WUNC. “We’re thrilled to help put this concert series together. It’s going to be fun.”

The concert series line-up will consist of Hiss Golden Messenger on April 29; Southern Culture on the Skids on May 18; Chatham County Line on June 16; Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ on July 14; Dom Flemons on Aug. 11; and a “surprise finale” on Sept. 8.