Downtown Alive Announces Lineup for Free Concert Series

Iya Terra will perform her brand of reggae on August 20 near Wilmington’s downtown library as part of the Downtown Alive concert series. (Courtesy picture)

WILMINGTON — After getting the green light from City Council last week to serve alcohol on the street — in Chestnut between the 2nd and 3rd — the Downtown Alive concert series has unveiled its official lineup. Geared up to kick off Memorial Day weekend, 13 tribute bands and four original acts will perform near the downtown library.

The series is hosted by Downtown Business Alliance and managed and booked by Son of Ander Enterprise LLC. The free concert series begins at 5 p.m. on Saturdays, starting May 28, when a Billy Joel tribute act takes center stage.

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“It’s hard to do a gig that’s going to have some sort of mass appeal and be free,” Chris Andrews, a DBA liaison, told the Port City Daily a few weeks ago. He was talking about the fact that the roster was heavily influenced by tribute acts. “That’s the business side of it — finding the right balance to attract people. Either it has to be someone really good, or it has to be free.

Tribute bands drew more than 3,000 people a week on Wilmington Downtown Inc.’s former series, Downtown Sundown, which ran for more than a decade. WDI announced in March that it would officially retire its series.

Downtown Alive is the second set of free concerts announced to take place in historic Wilmington during the warmer months. Port City Marina and Marina Grill have announced 37 free concerts which will take place until September on the pier located at the northern end of the river promenade.

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The Downtown Alive Music Series map. (Courtesy picture)

Downtown Alive will feature two bars, both serving eight to 10 beer selections – with a local craft brewery represented each week – as well as hard seltzers. Prices will be around $7.

To purchase alcohol, attendees will need to check in at the ID station in front of the Cape Fear Club to obtain an over 21 wristband for $1. Proceeds from wristbands are donated to DBA to help promote downtown businesses. Spectators will also need to buy tickets to exchange for an alcoholic drink; credit and cash will be accepted.

A food truck will be parked near the 2nd Street entrance and exit. The shows take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the stage will be set up facing 2nd Street near the library courtyard. Andrews, a DBA liaison who helps get permits for the event, said beach chairs are allowed.


May 28 — The Stranger (Billy Joel)

June 4 — Orage Artis (“The Voice” finalist, 2020)

June 11 — Pull to thrill (AC/DC)

June 18 —Zoso (Led Zeppelin)

June 25 — Johnny Folsom 4 (Johnny Cash)

July 2nd — Blink 180 (Blink 182)

July 9 — George Michael Reborn (WHAM! and George Michael)

July 23 — Red Not Chili Peppers (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

July 30 – Thurston Howell (rock yacht covers)

August 6 — Abacab (Phil Collins and Genesis)

August 13 — Sales (emo blankets)

20 August – Iya Terra, Mike Lowe, Signal Fire (original reggae act)

August 27 — Idle Wild South (Allman Brothers Band)

September 3 —JoeHero (Foo Fighters)

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Christy J. Olson