Hattiesburg, Mississippi – On Wednesday morning, Mayor Toby Barker was joined by Arden Barnett of Ardenland Music Productions, Millie Swan of Forrest Health, Hoppy Cole of The First Bank – A National Banking Association and several community businesses and leaders to announce City Lights + Music Nights, a concert series for Hattiesburg.
This series was crafted after several conversations between Barker and Barnett about how to tap into the city’s existing music scene while providing more opportunities for residents and visitors to take in a high caliber of talent that other metropolitan cities consistently bring in.
“When we talk about aspirations for our community, we want to be the best and have the best – whether it’s in education, jobs, public safety, the arts or quality of life – we want to see our city take the next step and rise to a new level,” said Barker. “Having access to more quality entertainment will continue to position Hattiesburg as a destination city.”
All shows in the concert series will take place at The Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg. The series is slated to include:
- Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn on Friday, Feb. 1;
- The Glenn Miller Orchestra Band on Saturday, Feb. 9;
- Bobby Rush on Saturday, June 29;
- and Keb Mo on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
Additional shows will be announced throughout the year.
“I remember the first day I toured the Saenger Theater. My breath was taken away and all signs pointed to it being home to a world-class concert series spanning all genres of music and art,” said Barnett. “Hattiesburg is a special town, filled with special people that get what community is and how community brings good things to life. The City Lights + Music Nights concert series is one of those things.”
Partnerships and sponsorships by Forrest Health, The First Bank – A National Banking Association, Stokes Distributing, WUSM and T-Bone’s Records & Cafe were integral in making the series happen, along with additional show sponsors from local businesses and organizations.
“Forrest Health has always been supportive of the arts and we’re proud to be a part of that. These types of events are important to the quality of life of our residents, but also as we recruit professionals into the area,” said Swan. “It aids in the cultural experience for our city and we’re happy to support it.”
Cole added, “We’re excited about the City Lights series and what a cultural event it will be for our community. Our company was founded here. And, although we’ve grown our regional franchise – Hattiesburg is our home. Our success is because of Hattiesburg, and it’s important for us to give back and support events that are good for our city.”
Tickets for the Feb. 1 and Feb. 9 shows are currently on sale and can be purchased at hattiesburgsaenger.com
[Due to technological difficulties, our live stream of the press conference did not work. However, our friends at Visit Hattiesburg were also there. Below is the video from their feed.]