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Summer Festival Draws Record Crowd To Jenkins
9/4/2013 12:29:25 PM

Close to 5,000 people a record number enjoying festivities at Jenkins Inst. Photo by Ade Ofunniyin

And then there was Rhythm and Blues.

Music filled the air last weekend as musical artists took to the stages around Charleston. And at Jenkins Institute various artists, headlined by sexy soul singer Freddie Jackson, paraded across the waterfront stage during the outdoor concert that drew a record crowd.

Jackson headlined the star-studded line-up that included Glenn Jones, Evelyn ‘Champaign’ King and Lebrado who were among some 10 artists for the Summer Festival. Gates opened at 3 p.m. for the show that started at 5 p.m., but the record crowd began to form much earlier.

Shirley Lincoln was among the 2,800 concert-goers who bought tickets that ranged from $150-$20. For the highest priced tickets viewers could enjoy the five-hour concert under the 120-seat VIP pavilion. For a few bucks less they viewed the concert from tents that surrounded the waterfront stage. Complimentary food and drinks were served, but everyone took full advantage of the numerous food and drink vendors on hand as all he vendors sold out before the concert’s end.

Lincoln learned about the concert Sunday morning, but general admission tickets still were available. Although she stood for much of the concert, the lover of Freddie Jackson songs said she thoroughly enjoyed the show.

Charleston school board member and local businessman, Michael Miller, also attended the concert. The success of the Summer Festival indicated that although a major Jazz festival also was being held Sunday in North Charleston, local music lovers were willing to embrace other music genres as well.

“It was hot, but the place was packed,” Miller said. “It was Labor Day Weekend and people wanted something to do. And the show also was promoted well,” he added.

Jenkins executive director Johanna Martin-Carrington said Calvin Jenkins of HEI Marketing and Promotions Firm booked the venue last April after attending the institute’s annual concert fundraiser at the waterfront location. Impressed with the 2,100 sq. ft. pavilion at the water’s edge and 10 acres surrounding it, Jenkins saw the opportunity others are beginning to see. Charleston’s annual Juneteenth Celebration has been held at the site the past three years. There is ample parking for about 1,200 cars, Carrington said.

“This is what we built the pavilion for,” Carrington said of the venue that opened in 2010.

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