Music series to return to Mills


Eric Ghilioni performs during a Mill Music Sessions concert on Oct. 6, 2016, at the Rocky Mount Mills.


Staff Writer

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Rocky Mount Mills will again host a lineup of free family-friendly outdoor musical shows beginning next month as part of its way of celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Mills this year.

The 2018 Mill Music Sessions concert series will once more be a partnership with WUNC-FM and Schoolkids Records, which both helped book the upcoming concert schedule. The concerts will take place on the Mills’ lawn, and company officials encourage the public to bring their own lawn chairs to watch the concerts.

WUNC is known as the flagship National Public Radio member station for the Triangle and Eastern North Carolina. Schookids Records, an independent record store based in the Triangle, was founded in 1974 and is one of the longest running music retail stores in the country.

“We’ve seen a tremendous response for the Mill Music Sessions series from fans across our listening area,” said David Brower, program director for North Carolina Public Radio’s WUNC. “This is quickly becoming the go-to regular music series for folks from across Eastern North Carolina and Triangle.”

Rocky Mount native Stephen Judge, owner of Schoolkids Records, said he is again excited to be a part of the energy taking place at the 150-acre mixed used development on the Tar River.

“Rocky Mount has changed so much from when I grew up here in the 80s and 90s,” Judge said. “There is a renewed spark and vitality reminiscent of the renaissances we’ve seen in the Triangle.”

Evan Covington Chavez, development manager of Rocky Mount Mills, said a difference between last year’s concert series and this year’s is there are more restaurants, breweries and corporate tenants that have signed on to be on campus. 

Scott Roberts, general manager of Rocky Mount Mills, said last year’s concert series drew an average of around 600 people to the Mills campus. The biggest turnout was the performance by“The Connells,” which brought between 800 to 900 people for their performance.

“Anytime you can bring out that number of people to an event, it’s about the music — but our primary focus is to get people out here and make them more aware of what we’re doing, what is going on here and have them go back out and talk about the Rocky Mount Mills. I think the concert series did that last year, and it’s set up to do that again this year.”

The concert series dates are Nantucket on April 13; Dillon Fence on May 19; Music Maker Blue Revenue on June 9; The Connells on Sept. 14 and John Howie & Rosewood Bluff/Magnolia Collective on Oct. 13. All concerts start at 7 p.m. Opening act performances will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.