Music to Our Ears
Tallahassee marches to a new beat as music scene expands
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In early September, Doak S. Campbell Stadium unveiled its much-anticipated renovations, which included the addition of the Champions Club, which brought 5,500 more seats and one of the best scoreboards in the country to the stadium.
Don Juan Moore
Matthew Ramsey (lead vocalist) and Brad Tursi (lead guitarist) perform with their band, Old Dominion, for Doak After Dark. The award-winning band blends old-fashioned country music with rock ’n’ roll to great effect.
With high-quality improvements, more seats to hold bodies and more confidence than ever, the stadium decided to expand beyond football to another experience that would draw large crowds. For the first time since the ’80s, the stadium held a concert.
On Nov. 12, 2016, Old Dominion, Tyler Farr and Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots played a sold-out show. The success led to no hesitation in booking the next concert on April, 29, which featured Blake Shelton, Jake Owen and Big and Rich.
“We have thought about doing this for quite some time,” explained Jason Dennard, marketing and new revenue director at Doak Campbell Stadium. “We wanted the audience to experience the nostalgia of watching top-notch entertainment in their favorite football stadium.”
On down the road is FSU’s enclosed option for musicians: The Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
While FSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams claim the center as home, the center has also welcomed the likes of Elton John, Drake, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Jimmy Buffett, Garth Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Usher, George Straight, Corey Smith, Alabama, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.
Don Juan Moore
Light up the night! Missouri-born country music singer Tyler Farr performs at Doak Campbell Stadium for Doak After Dark.
“Tallahassee’s music scene has exploded in the past few years,” said Kim Morton, director of marketing at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. “Tallahassee, itself, has grown immensely over the past five years, which has brought a new generation to this city. We’re in a location that is a desirable stop for touring artists.”
National and international celebrities and stars of the music realm will always attract a crowd and create revenue, but those idols started somewhere — in hometown bars, at county fairs, in writers’ rounds or opening for touring acts. And while Tallahassee is certainly establishing premier venues with packed seats whose occupants anticipate experiencing the tunes they hear on the radio, the city is also embracing local musicians — those whose names aren’t yet in lights, but who may be well on their way to fame.