Home Carrollton Season of entertainment starts April 29 in Villa Rica

Season of entertainment starts April 29 in Villa Rica

Photo of Hollywood Nights

Villa Rica’s entertainment season will begin in April, featuring tribute bands and headlining musicians from across the South.

On Thursday, the City’s tourism office made public the preliminary list of groups who will be taking the stage at The MILL amphitheater this spring and summer. All the concerts will be free and are designed to appeal to a wide audience.

The events start on Saturday, April 29, with the Annual West Georgia Jazz Festival – an event that has been growing in popularity and draws visitors to the city from across the region to hear the rising stars of America’s original art form.

Renowned jazz violinist Ken Ford will return to Villa Rica as the headliner for the day-long festival. Ford, known as “The King of Strings,” was also the main act for the 2019 Festival. He has performed at numerous venues across the South and shared billing with some of the top names in jazz.

Originally from Detroit, Ford’s family moved to Atlanta where his early interest in music led him to training as a classical musician. Eventually he joined the African American Philharmonic Orchestra, which provided background stylings for such greats as Barry White. Soon, he was playing in some of Atlanta’s hottest jazz spots, drawing from his skill in classical music and R&B to create a unique style.

Following the Jazz Festival, the city will begin its annual summer concert series that will culminate with the city’s annual Gold Rush Festival in September.

The first of those summer concerts is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, when you won’t have to go all the way to “Katmandu” to hear “That Old Time Rock and Roll.” Hollywood Nights, a Bob Seger tribute band, will be making some “Night Moves” at The MILL Amphitheater, proving that your nostalgic memories of the Silver Bullet Band are “Still the Same.”

The website for the New Jersey-based group says they have set out to recreate everything about Segar and his music, down to the smallest detail. Their goal is to “represent the voice of every fan” in their performances.

The second concert is set for Saturday, July 22 and will feature the DejaBlue Grass Band, an Atlanta group with a style that blends traditional country and bluegrass music with pop tunes.

Based in Atlanta, the group has been playing for over 20 years, performing bluegrass standards as well as their own compositions. And their banter between songs is said to be as entertaining as the music itself.

The third concert on Saturday, August 5 will feature Lakeside, an American funk band that charted in 1980 with a number one R&B hit, “Fantastic Voyage.”

The group’s origins are in the early 1970s, but their success accelerated in 1977 with a debut album and an appearance on the Soul Train TV show. With the Solar Records label, the group released a number of minor hits, but that all changed in 1980 when the title track of their “Fantastic Voyage” album not only reached number one on the R&B chart but got as high as number 55 on the pop charts. They reached the R&B Top Ten again with a remake of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles.

The summer concert series comes to an end on Friday, September 8 with Departure, a Journey Tribute Band.
Departure is familiar to many concertgoers across west Georgia, and in 2018 they were the main act for Villa Rica’s July 3 Fireworks Spectacular. Now in their 15th year, they are considered the nation’s most respected journey tribute band, “faithfully” recreating the arena band’s sound.

This last concert will be a prelude to the city’s annual Gold Rush festival, which will feature a parade and other entertainment in around The MILL amphitheater, located at 106 Temple Street, which is where all the concerts and the Jazz Festival will take place.