Local News

Country music festival coming to Roanoke Rapids

Posted November 16, 2010

— Carolina Crossroads in Roanoke Rapids will play host to a three-day outdoor music festival next summer that organizers say will help boost the local economy.

The June 16-18 Rapids Jam 2011 will be modeled after other country music festivals across the country and feature more than 20 acts, including some of country music’s biggest stars, said Liz Cunningham, a partner with Carolina Dirt LLC, which owns the outdoor venue in Roanoke Rapids’ entertainment development, The Festival Park at Carolina Crossroads.

“Similar festivals throughout the United States have an economic impact ranging from $1.5 million to $3 million per market,” Cunningham said. “We’re building a mini-city here for three days at the outdoor venue, so everyone wins from hotels to gas stations and beyond.”

The entertainment lineup will be announced Nov. 30, and tickets, beginning at $99 for the weekend, will go on sale Dec. 3.

Three-day music festival planned at Carolina Crossroads Three-day music festival planned at Carolina Crossroads

About 20,000 people a day are expected each day, Cunningham said.

Carolina Dirt purchased the property in October and changed the name from the Carolina Crossroads Outdoor Amphitheater to The Festival Park at Carolina Crossroads.

Event organizers say that improvements to the venue, such as a larger stage, infrastructure to accommodate camping and more on-site concessions, will make it more attractive for national promoters to bring in other genres of entertainment.

Roanoke Rapids invested millions of dollars into the 1,000-acre entertainment development near Interstate 95, hoping it would bring jobs to the area and stimulate the economy.

It opened several years ago with future plans to build a water park, retail shops and other attractions, but the outdoor theater and the Roanoke Rapids Theatre are the only two attractions on the property.

The $22.5 million theater has been plagued by poor ticket sales, management issues and the bad economy since it opened in 2005.

Debt forced local leaders to increase the local tax rate by 5 cents to pay the theater’s bills.


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  • laxmom516 Nov 17, 2010

    My husband & I go to a festival in Ohio that sounds similar. It is 3 days of country music, good friends and lots of adult beverage consumption!!! YEE HAW!!

  • appstatefan Nov 17, 2010

    Isn't this the same place Randy Parton used to have his name on?
    November 16, 2010 5:30 p.m.

    No it isn't the same place. the theater and crossroads are 2 different venues.

  • Retired07 Nov 16, 2010

    What day is Randy Parton going to play??

  • In the meantime... Nov 16, 2010

    Please! For the love of Ray J! To all the naysayers out there...Mind-ya! For the INFORMED positive people out there...good luck! You have what it takes, now - run with it!!

  • BSmart Nov 16, 2010

    If they can get the right performers they will have a huge crowd. I went there to see Hank Williams,Jr. and Gretchen Wilson and they had a large crowd. Good Luck!!

  • nancimae2 Nov 16, 2010

    Hopefully, someday, the venture will get off the ground. It would be great to see it succeed.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Nov 16, 2010

    "20,000 people a day are expected each day"

    based on what, your hope? Festivals across the country? There's no guarantee you'll get anywhere near those kind of numbers. It ain't like Randy Parton is going to bring 'em through the gates. If you book some has been and nobody line-ups you'll be lucky to see 20K total!

  • BigUNCFan Nov 16, 2010

    Isn't this the same place Randy Parton used to have his name on?

  • BigUNCFan Nov 16, 2010

    I think they ought to make an outlet mall out of that thing or just tear it down and make a park. That theater is a poster child of why we should not put public money into junk like this. What a complete waste.

  • oleguy Nov 16, 2010

    An out door show, If out door is so great, why build an indoor theater,,,, Seems they would have been better off to never built, And just used a field,,, or gravel pit,,,

    I hope they do well, I would go But I expect an invite to prince williams wedding...