When the Myrtle Beach Pavilion amusement park shut down in 2006, questions arose as to how the beach’s midtown would stay afloat.
However, with the implementation of a season-long concert festival, a giant Ferris wheel ride and a new boardwalk, downtown Myrtle Beach on Ocean Boulevard is again top choice for an evening of fun.
Beginning today, the fourth-consecutive year of Hot Summer Nights will kick off with activities, entertainment and a concert series which runs every night of the week.
The series features a variety of musical styles, as well as jugglers and other street performers, bounce houses and entertainment for the kids and frequent fireworks displays which launch out each Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. or whenever it's dark enough.
“[Hot Summer Nights] has been very well-received,” said Jonathan Staton, president of the Oceanfront Merchants Association (OMA). “The fireworks are my favorite night just because it’s a great atmosphere and cool to see the fireworks ove the ocean.”
Staton owns a downtown restaurant and joined together with like-minded businesspeople to form the OMA in fall 2006. The small group of business and property owners has worked side-by-side with the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Commission, Myrtle Beach City Council and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to revitalize the downtown area by planning various family-friendly festivals and events.
Staton says the musical talent for this year's Hot Summer Nights is greater than ever, a fact that's evident from the get go, with top-notch entertainment on tap for tonight's kick off party.
The show which begins at 8 p.m. will feature local Rock/Americana group Bullfrog starting off the night followed by Blues/Roots Rock group The Delta Saints, who performed during OMA's St. Patrick's Day Festival in March.
“They’re up-and-comers out of Nashville that are trying to make it big right now. They do some great stuff with harmonica and make really good bluesy stuff,” Staton said of the headliners.
Music will continue throughout the week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, with a strolling Dixieland band, the Dawgs of Dixie, performing along the boardwalk each Friday. Tuesday will feature a concert rotationg between two of the area's most sought-after bands, Tru Sol and Ten Toes Up, while Thursdays focus on other local acts and Saturdays will generally host larger, touring acts from around the region.
Another change from last year’s lineup is the Sunday night slate. Instead of street performers and stilt walkers, the OMA has booked Whacker Barrel, a three-piece percussion band, which will perform each Sunday night from 7 to 10 p.m. near Plyler Park.
“They’re very talented,” Staton said. “They have drumline talent, you can tell by their cadences.”
Staton also said the Kid’s Carnival has become very popular because it is attractive to the entire family.
“People seem to enjoy it. It’s not only good for us downtown, but hoteliers can steer guests there for inexpensive entertainment.”
Visit MyrtleBeachDowntown.com for more information.
Here's a full list of musical acts scheduled to appear at this year's Hot Summer Nights (subject to change):
- June 1 | The Delta Saints (Blues/Rock/Roots) & Bullfrog (Rock/Americana/Folk)
- June 2 | Tammy’s Tangent (Variety Rock/Country)
- June 4 | Crowfield (Rock)
- June 7 | Tru Sol (R&B/Funk/Soul)
- June 9 | Fireshot (Reggae)
- June 11 | Scoot Pittman Band (Rock/Roots/Soul)
- June 14 | Ten Toes Up (Roots/Rock/Percussive Funk)
- June 16 | Josh Brannon Band (Americana/Country)
- June 18 | Humble Vibez (Reggae/Island/Rock)
- June 21 | Tru Sol (R&B/Funk/Soul)
- June 23 | Backfire (Rock/Country/Variety)
- June 25 | Ras Bonghi (Reggae)
- June 28 | Ten Toes Up (Roots/Rock/Percussive Funk)
- June 30 | American Aquarium (Americana/Rock/Country)
- July 2 | The Delta Saints (Blues/Rock/Roots)
- July 5 | Tru Sol (R&B/Funk/Soul)
- July 7 | Bibis Ellison (Soul/Indie/Pop)
- July 9 | The Stranger (Billy Joel Tribute)
- July 12 | Ten Toes Up (Roots/Rock/Percussive Funk)
- July 14 | Bullfrog (Rock/Americana/Folk)
- July 16 | Fireshot (Reggae)
- July 19 | Tru Sol (R&B/Funk/Soul)
- July 21 | Josh Brannon Band (Americana/Country)
- July 23 | Lyndsay Wojcik (Soul/Rock/Americana)
- July 26 | Ten Toes Up (Roots/Rock/Percussive Funk)
- July 28 | Scoot Pittman Band (Rock/Roots/Soul)
- July 30 | Humble Vibez (Reggae)
- Aug. 2 | Tru Sol (R&B/Funk/Soul)
- Aug. 4 | Backfire (Rock/Country/Variety)
- Aug. 6 | The Delta Saints (Blues/Rock/Roots)
- Aug. 9 | Ten Toes Up (Roots/Rock/Percussive Funk)
- Aug. 11 | Fireshot (Reggae)
- Aug. 13 | Mystic Vibrations (Island/Reggae)
- Aug. 16 | Tru Sol (R&B/Funk/Soul)
- Aug. 18 | Bullfrog (Rock/Americana/Folk)
- Aug. 20 | Bibis Ellison (Soul/Indie/Pop)
- Aug. 23 | Ten Toes Up (Roots/Rock/Percussive Funk)
- Aug. 25 | Tammy’s Tangent (Variety Rock/Country)
- Aug. 27 | Josh Brannon Band (Americana/Country)
- Aug. 30 | Tru Sol (R&B/Funk/Soul)
- Sept. 1 | Eastbound (Country)
- Sept. 3 | Scoot Pittman (Rock/Soul/Roots)