It's still weeks away from the official start of the season but the Boathouse Waterway Bar & Grill — located just has been partying like its summer for months.
Kicking off the sixth year of its popular Backyard Summer Concert Series in late March, the waterfront bar has already hosted a baker’s dozen shows this year featuring national, regional and local acts.
“It’s a great venue, right here on the waterway and something that’s unique to the city of Myrtle Beach,” said Coan. “Where else can you find nationally-touring entertainment for free, every Sunday afternoon?”
- June 26 | Supervillians (Ska/Reggae)
- July 3 | Sunny Ledfurd (Country/Hip-Hop/Acoustic)
- July 10 | Cravin’ Melon (Rock/Altenative)
- July 17 | Weaving The Fate - Formerly known as Villanova (Rock/Funk)
- July 24 | Ballyhoo! (Reggae/Rock)
- July 31 | 7th Annual Jerryfest
- Aug. 6-7 | Boatin’ & Groovin’ Festival
- Aug. 14 | Tru Sol (R&B/Soul)
- Aug. 21 | TBA
- Aug. 28 | Rehab (Rap/Rock)
- Sept. 4 | TBA
With a slate that has featured the likes of Rehab, JJ Grey & Mofro, Bubba Sparxxx, Confederate Railroad, The Movement and Passafire, the bar hopes to up the ante for the second half of its series with a variety of names and other interesting events to wind down the summer.
Taking the stage in what’s been dubbed as “the best backyard in town” groups such as Supervillans, Ballyhoo! and Cravin’ Melon will perform each Sunday, with a show beginning at 4 p.m.
Each “Sunday Funday” show features an opening — usually local — act starting about 5 p.m. with the headliner going on around 6:30 p.m. This year, the Boathouse has also added a house DJ, local DJ BZ, spinning Top 40 and Hip-hop indoors following the performance.
“It’s given us an opportunity for a different type of entertainment that generally appeals to a younger crowd and helps us keep people around a little bit longer,” said Coan of the decision to add an after party.
It’s this formula of providing tunes in a party atmosphere which includes legions of boaters in the nearby waterway, an outdoor tiki bar and added amenities such as hammocks and a well-groomed sand volleyball court that has helped the Boathouse garner a devoted fan base.
“You’ve got your core group that will be here regardless, but what’s really cool is seeing all the different genres and what kind of crowd they bring in each week,” said Coan.
The series, which traditionally ran Memorial Day through Labor Day, expanded this year with an early start and may even continue into the fall.
“We’re waiting on the NFL to make their decision,” says Coan. “If they’re not gonna play football on Sunday, we’ll keep playing music. If they do start playing again, then we’ll pull for the Steelers just like everyone else.”
The series’ cornerstone event Jerryfest, a tribute to the late great Jerry Garcia, will celebrate its 7th anniversary July 31.
The lineup for this year’s event — announced during a June 5 performance by JGB (Jerry Garcia Band) — will include The Possums, Wilmington’s Poor No More, N.Y. jam band Firewheel, legendary singer Billy Wright and headliners New Riders of the Purple Sage.
While the show, hosted by local classic rock DJ Scott Mann, is expected to be another successful one, Coan knows that times are changing for events like his.
“That genre’s been without its leader for awhile now,” said Coan.
According to Coan, he sees less and less college-age kids geting into the music and guesses that as fans get older and further removed from the original Grateful Dead material the crowds will get smaller for events like Jerryfest.
“But still, it’s my personal favorite genre, so we’re gonna stick with it,” he says.
Boatin’ & Groovin’
Keeping the intensity going into the dog days of summer, the Boathouse is putting together something new for this season, a festival which they are calling Boatin’ & Groovin’ on Aug. 6-7.
The two-day event will kick off on a Saturday featuring a variety of acts spanning various genres and levels of notoriety.
“Nothing’s confirmed yet, but we’re looking at lots of regional acts like the Delta Saints or American Aquarium,” said Coan. “You can expect a couple national acts, mostly regional acts and a couple locals.”
During the festival, the Boathouse will expand on its usual setup with music playing on three stages — one indoors, one in the backyard and another added stage in a gravel lot next to the bar.
“Confliction will play out there, and we’ve been talking to Sqwearl about it, but we’ll see if we can get everyone on board for that,” said Coan.
Coan says he’s really excited about the whole idea of the festival and hopes it can become similarly successful to Jerryfest while appealing to a wider audience of fans.
“We don’t have any aspirations of becoming the Myrtle Beach Bonnaroo or anything, but it should be a lot of fun,” he said.
For more information on what’s happening at The Boathouse visit www.boathousemb.com or check them out on Facebook.