O.A.R. and Phillip Phillips headline the recalibrated Lauderdale Live concert series that will return June 19-21 to downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Huizenga Plaza.
Other acts on the bill, set to be announced Monday morning, include Sister Hazel, Dumpstaphunk, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Kris Allen, Ben Rector, Luke Wade, and popular locals Beverly McClellan and Emily Kopp.
Advance tickets cost $39.50, $69.50 for a two-day pass, and will go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, March 27, at LauderdaleLiveMusic.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Prices at the gate will be $47 and $87. Various VIP packages, including admission for the June 19 pre-festival performances, also will be available.
The inaugural Lauderdale Live made its debut in December 2013, with a lineup of remarkable ambition: Performances by Lyle Lovett, Huey Lewis, Robert Randolph and the Indigo Girls were supported by buzzworthy indie acts such as Shovels & Rope, former Drive-by Trucker Jason Isbell, the Wild Feathers and Holly Williams (granddaughter of Hank).
If this was a test of Fort Lauderdale’s taste for alternative music, we failed. People stayed away by the thousands.
While there may have been mitigating factors (ineffective marketing, competition from Art Basel that weekend), the result is that organizers took a bath, and a retooling was inevitable.
After taking 2014 off, the festival producer, Nashville-based Donahue Entertainment, is bringing the concert series back with a new sponsor, West Palm Beach-based AEG Live SE, a company that has its hands in a diverse list of music festivals, including SunFest, Coachella and the New Orleans Jazz Fest. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau’s office of Film, Music and Entertainment also is on board.
“Partnering with AEG, in West Palm Beach, is critical. They know the market,” Donahue founder Don Donahue said recently.
The 2015 edition of Lauderdale Live offers a lineup of reliable ticket sellers and music that fits solidly in the mainstream, beginning with the headliners.
The June 20 bill is led by Phillips, best known for the platinum-selling single “Home.” Also peforming that day will be Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors (who played the first Lauderdale Live), “American Idol” winner Kris Allen, Nashville-based Ben Rector (his 2013 album “The Walking in Between” hit No. 16 on the Billboard 200 chart) and rising singer-songwriter Emily Kopp, formerly of Plantation.
O.A.R., no stranger to South Florida audiences, will headline the June 21 performances, joined by Gainesville rockers Sister Hazel, New Orleans jammers Dumpstaphunk, Luke Wade (familiar to Season 7 viewers of “The Voice”) and Fort Lauderdale blues singer Beverly McClellan (who made the final four on Season 1 of “The Voice”).
For more information, visit LauderdaleLiveMusic.com.