Concert series to return in summer 2019
As it heads into its offseason, Mountain Home’s Friday Night Block Party is unveiling a new website for the summer concert series.
The website, www.mountainhomeblockparty.com, went live Sept. 21 and includes photos, videos, a list of sponsors and a PayPal link to accept donations. It is designed and hosted by Mountain Home Marketing.
“The whole thing is brand new, so we will be tweaking it this winter and into next year,” Block Party coordinator Ron Shire said. “The PayPal link, that gives people the opportunity to donate $5 or $10 during the winter.”
The Block Party series, which closed out its 2018 season with jazz trio Coffey With Steve on Sept. 14, relies on sponsorships and donations to pay for the bands that grace its stage.
“It takes money to attract bands from outside the area,” said Shire, noting that the 2018 season featured musicians from Kansas City, Branson and Newport. “And the better a band is, the higher their price is, too.”
The Block Parties averaged about 400 people per week, up slightly from last year’s inaugural season, Shire said.
“What impressed me was that we had 90-degree weather all summer, but people still came out each Friday,” he said. “You have a core group of about 350 attendees, and then you build from that each week.”
The biggest shows of the year were a toss-up between local favorites the Melodikats and gospel variety act Oh Happy Day! of Branson. Each show drew between 800 and 900 people, Shire said.
A play area for younger children tops Shire’s wish list for 2019 improvements.
“We’d like to target those younger couples that have kids,” Shire said. “You could bring your family to the Block Party, let the kids run around the play area and turn it into a date night.”
At least one “theme night” will return next year, Shire said. The Block Party hosted Polynesian dancers one night its first year and showcased a group of Celtic performers in 2017. Ideas being considered for 2018 include a Cajun night, square dancing or a German festival.
“I like to expand people’s horizons a little bit,” he said.
Mountain Home's Friday Night Block Parties averaged about 400 people per performance this year, organizer Ron Shire said. (Photo: Submitted photo)
Shire said he wished to thank Mountain Home’s Street and Water departments for their help with the Block Parties. He also wished to thank the event’s volunteers for their efforts.
“We give a big speech to the volunteers at the start of each year that talks about when it’s really hot out there and you don’t want to be there, to remember you are there to serve the community,” he said. “Those volunteers are there before the show helping to set up, help out during the show and stick around to clean up afterwards. The Block Parties do not happen without them.”
The River Rock Hotel and Convention Center and its Lake Country CookHouse provided overnight accommodations and meals for some musical acts, Shire said.
“That lowered the asking price for some bands,” he said. “They would lower their performance fee if they did not have to handle the accommodations themselves.”
Shire also wished to thank all the 2018 Block Party sponsors. The concert series has different levels of sponsorship, ranging from having a business’ name displayed on an electronic message board to sponsoring the entire night and addressing the audience mid-show.
The Block Party website lists 13 businesses that sponsored an entire show this past year, plus 23 other businesses that appeared on the event’s LED board.
“I think as far as advertising, the sponsorships are big hit,” Shire said. “You can get your name out there in front of the public, and I know business owners like addressing the crowd.”
For more information on the Block Parties, visit the event’s website or contact Shire at (870) 404-6347.