Summer nights spent nestled by the river offer music-lovers the perfect oasis of cool vibes, good tunes and a community atmosphere. With its very own riverside event venue, South Main in Buena Vista provides the perfect Friday night outing through The Beach Summer Music Series.
Because of an idea that began back in 2006 and a strong passion for live music, business administrator and founder of South Main Jed Selby has been excited to watch it grow annually into today’s popular music venue for the entire community to enjoy.
“We’ve been doing live music down in South Main since the very first year we build the square, since 2006. Six years ago, my wife, Kennley, and I were talking and realized there was nothing on the river, and it’s our best asset. It is the whole reason why we built this whole place, and we aren’t even using our best property,” Selby said.
“So, we brainstormed and came up with the idea do to The Beach. We began by building a stage, and we did it originally under an easy-up tent. It started with every weekend in July and August and that has kind of been our schedule until now. This will be our sixth year in a row. Every year we get bigger bands, and more speakers and better sound systems. And last year was the first year we had a professional lighting system, so it is one of those things that is continually growing and becoming more exciting.”
When the idea of the South Main neighborhood began, Selby and the other investors decided to implement a provision to fund a nonprofit dedicated to the area’s arts and parks. Currently this endowment is funded by various businesses located in South Main through 1-percent sales and property transfer assessments. Businesses include The Adventure Hub, The Midland Stop, South Main Vacation Rentals and the Surf Chateau Boutique Hotel. The nonprofit is called South Main Arts and Parks Trust, which, along with 16 other community sponsors, is the funding instrument for this event. The full sponsorship list can be found at their website, www.thebeachbv.com.
The goal of the trust was to give back to the citizens in a way that fulfills a social itch and to provide the public a fun way to get the family out during the weekend. Because of the trust, the community is able to enjoy live music, free of charge, in a scenic location every weekend.
“Now, we just aim for break-even with the event,” Selby said. “We put everything we can back into it to make the production better for the community. As a company, we don’t do any marketing, so the whole idea is just to do concerts and events and focus on bringing people down here to see what we’re all about. It is more a tangible thing for us; South Main is so much about the experience of the place, and live music is just something fun. That has always been such an integral part of my life – to give to the community.”
Douglas Preston, the “human liquid relations manager” for South Main, is eager to be a part of The Beach and looks forward to assisting with its future growth.
“Music is one of the most powerful vehicles for bringing people together, and a community with a strong relationship with music, art, food and drink is an exciting place to live and work,” said Preston.
The music has become more wide-range and covers most genres. In the beginning, the music was 90-percent bluegrass because it is so popular in the area, Selby said, but as the music series has grown, it has expanded to include everything from rock to funk to even a Grateful Dead cover band, Forgotten Space, which is Selby’s personal favorite for the summer.
Coming up next in the series’ line-up is a band from San Diego called The Moves Collective, whose eclectic sounds and mixed influences will strike a chord for all fans eager to be a part of the experience. Buena Vista is just one stop on their month-long tour spanning 10 states as they showcase their mission and promote their third album.
Rae Irelan, one of the band’s co-founders, wears many hats in making this dream a reality. From playing mandolin and percussion to singing and writing music, she is excited to be raising awareness on the road and returning to Colorado, which she says has always had a large, excited fan base for their music. To find out more about The Moves Collective and their cause, visit www.themovescollective.com.
“We describe our music like a late-night funk party mixed with bluegrass and a little folk,” she said. “We have some jazz and soul influences, as well. We like to combine different genres and let our original music and songs provide an improvisation for us to flow through, so each show is very unique. We like to share our mission, which is ‘moving in the moment.’ That is staying present and aware with the community, and connecting with yourself and those around you, as well as sustainability and environmental awareness issues.”