NEDERLAND – Jerry Diaz has long performed with his band in the small to mid-sized towns of the Gulf Coast at family-oriented community events.
The experiences, along with other local interactions, gave the Nederland High graduate an idea for his hometown.
“I often meet friends and family who live in the Mid County area who tell me they would like to see me play somewhere, but they don’t necessarily go to restaurants or bars,” he said. declared. “They would come to us if there were events in the community like this. Not only is there a need, but there is a desire for it.
Diaz got his wish and teamed up with the Nederland Economic Development Corporation to launch the first Nederland EDC free concert series with Jerry Diaz Taking it to The Streets.
Main stage artists will perform every Thursday in October from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The lineup includes Jag playing classic rock on October 7, country band Running On Credit performing on October 14, Jerry Diaz & Hanna’s Reef playing on October 21, and Cajun Harmony playing Cajun and oldies on October 28.
The concerts on October 7 and 21 will take place on a stage set up in front of the Nederland EDC office, 1519 Boston Ave., and the concerts on October 14 and 28 will take place outside the First United Methodist Church, 1300 Nederland Ave.
There is no charge to attend concerts. Food trucks based in the Netherlands will sell food and refreshments at the venues, and no alcohol is allowed.
Participants are advised to bring their lawn chairs for comfortable seating and are asked to arrive early in order to have a great view.
“I can see us having a very successful series, even a six to eight week airing in the spring and fall, expanding our audience to the region and, who knows, maybe even bigger than that,” said Diaz. “We’re going to start with local artists and if that goes well we should be able to expand how far we get with that. It is a fantastic opportunity. I’m glad to be involved in the first year, but as it progresses it’s not about playing with my band, it’s about trying to have as many different bands as possible.
Diaz said the goal is to attract a diverse selection of bands that bring general appeal and offer family-oriented entertainment.
According to Diaz, the growth of Downtown Nederland and the work of EDC and others are attracting attention.
“I am really excited about the future,” he said. “I see the Netherlands is a place where people come and gather more often. Hopefully this musical series helps stimulate some of that.
Nederland EDC Executive Director Kay DeCuir said the concert series is touted as a quality of life family attraction.
“It’s something really cool that we have to do for the city, for the citizens to give them something to do,” she said. “People want to be outside. The last two years have been like: What can we do to help promote the community and actively involve people? People are adults. They can space out.
EDC is seeking sponsorships to help fund the effort, which was not originally part of its budget. Sponsorships are available for between $ 250 and $ 2,000. For more information, call 409-729-1020.
Early sponsors include Echo Group, Neches Credit Union, Sunset Travel, Aqua One, Judice’s 1927, ZaZa’s Shop, and Twisted Gypsy.
“Thursday evenings seem like a better night for groups and being able to afford them,” DeCuir said. “There will be porta-pots and we will have a washing station.
“We are looking forward to having a good time. This is our first so we learn as we go and then hopefully they improve and we can have more successful gigs. “
City Manager Chris Duque recently told council members that any concerns or issues with food trucks, porta-pots, security, garbage collection and barricades have been resolved.
“The cost to the city should be limited to overtime to help with the barricades, as well as any additional garbage collection the day after the concert,” he said.