Get Jiggy this summer and fall
Published 8:42 am Monday, July 20, 2015
Weren’t able to take off from work for Bonnaroo last month? Weren’t alive for the original Woodstock festival? Or maybe the trip and tickets to Lollapalooza would break the bank?
No worries. Two local restaurateurs have plans to bring the festival scene to Carter County this summer.
Jiggy Ray’s owners John Malone and John Seehorn are bringing a four-part outdoor concert series to downtown Elizabethton’s Bicentennial Walkway.
Last September, Jiggy Ray’s owners hosted the first downtown festival of this nature and called it Jiggypalooza.
“We didn’t have any idea what to expect,” Malone said. “It turned out absolutely amazing. We sold over 400 tickets, and there were no problems.”
All of the success from last year has resulted in the expansion of the festival this year.
“Our crowd and customers are so helpful and respectful,” Malone said. “You can bring you children and even grandparents out. That’s the kind of environment we want inside and outside everyday here.”
In addition to the music stage sponsored by Backyard Productions, the restaurant will have beer and food specials going on as well as some fun games. Holston Distributing is also a sponsor for the event.
“We want to feature some quality bands,” Malone said. “The bands will keep the money. It’s a way to reward the musicians in the area.”
Malone and Seehorn foresee the annual event getting bigger and better every year it exists.
“It’s something that’s great for the town,” Malone said. “We do it the best we can do it. We’re still learning and every festival will keep getting bigger.”
Malone would like to see the event inspire the community to have an even larger festival like Johnson City’s Blue Plum or Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots.
“Why not?” he said. “This is one of the most beautiful towns in the Tri-Cities. We want to do whatever we can to encourage people to come to downtown Elizabethton.”
Since beer will be available for consumption at each event, the owners have a set of rules in place to promote safety.
Malone said wristbands must be worn by all guests. Guests 21 and older will have a special wristband.
“We also card everyone as they come in and every time they get a beer,” he said.
Also, the area will be roped off and no alcohol is permitted outside of that space.
“We’re very particular about making sure there’s no underage drinking going on,” Malone said. “We take that responsibility very seriously.”
The rules ensure everyone’s safety and keeps people from wandering all over downtown with alcoholic beverages in hand, Malone said.
“We’re grateful that the city trusts us with this venture,” he said. “We hope the community wants to see it continue.”
Each event will begin at 4 p.m. The first event, called Jiggyfest, is scheduled for Saturday.
The lineup will include Step Cousins, The Impalas, Bonnie Blue and headliner the Lauren Cole Band.
The following three outdoor music festivals will be held the last Saturday of every subsequent month.
Jiggystock will be held Aug. 29, Jiggyroo will be Sept. 26 and the final event called Jiggypalooza is set for Halloween.
Tickets, which are $10, are available through the bands or can be purchased at the restaurant. Tickets will also be available at the door.
“We’re excited about putting these special events on for the customers and the city,” Malone said. “We want this to grow beyond us.”
For more information, visit Jiggy Ray’s online by visiting their Facebook or website at jiggyrays.com.