Pack up your blanket or grab a lawn chair because downtown concert series Live at Five will return to Town Square Park this Friday, April 7.
Local blues legend Tommie “T-Bone” Pruitt will kick off Live at Five this year. The event is a free, outdoor live music series in Downtown Hattiesburg and takes place on Friday evenings in the spring and fall from 5 – 9 pm. The concerts are sponsored by local businesses and organizations.
Sarah Newton started Live at Five in Spring of 2008. Newton said the idea formed when she was president of the Downtown Association.
“My parents were involved with a program held in Baton Rouge and suggested I start a concert series in Hattiesburg,” Newton said. “In a way, I helped start Live at Five as a way to pay tribute to my father.”
Newton said when she and her parents began the series in 2008, they named it Live After Five.
“That first month, it rained the first three Fridays, and we had to change venues for a couple of concerts and cancel one altogether,” Newton said. “The first real concert in Town Square Park that season was the last week of April.”
Newton said planning the concert series usually begins about two months before the first concert, but that this year it will be a little different as there are more shows – in May and this summer – and there will not be as much time between the seasons.
Mike Dodds has been attending Live at Five since it started. Dodds said Live at Five is great for the
“It is a great way to bring people together to have a good time,” Dodds said. “The music is always enjoyable. People will come from all parts of Hattiesburg and the surrounding areas to come have a good time in downtown. It’s a great way to start off the weekend.”
Abigail Allen, the program coordinator of smART space, has a booth at Live at Five where children can come be creative with sidewalk chalk, art projects and hula hoops. Allen said she loves everything about the event.
“It’s a place where people come together and the music almost doesn’t even matter,” Allen said. “I have seen this event from all angles. I’ve played music at this event, I’ve worked it with smART space and I’ve gotten to just enjoy it as an audience member – I enjoy it all. It’s one of the main reasons I think Hattiesburg is so magical.”
Newton said Live at Five has grown over the past five years.
“I love knowing that people enjoy it,” Newton said. “Even my kids ask me ‘When does it start?’ They call Town Square Park ‘Live at Five’ Park.’”
This season of Live at Five will include performances by Lightnin Malcolm April 28, Blackwater Brass May 12, Stoop Kids May 19 and other acts to be announced.
For more information on Live at Five check out their Facebook Page Live at Five H’Burg or at www.hattiesburglivemusic.com/ live-at-five.