WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Live music filled the air of downtown Wilmington Friday night as Widespread Panic played the first official concert at Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park. Those making the trip to the venue tonight say the band coming to open the new venue feels like a holiday.
“Man, I feel like it’s Christmas — Christmas in July,” said Daniel Payne, a Widespread Panic fan.
Some dedicated attendees lined up more than three hours before showtime, saying they wanted to enjoy the concert as much as they can.
“I want to be first. I want to be right up front. I want to be boot, scoot, and getting down,” said Kallie Dailey, who claims she was the first one in line before the gates opened Friday night.
For one fan, however, the opportunity to see live music at an outdoor venue in Wilmington also serves as a chance to dock his personal boat, a pirate ship, right next to the amphitheater.
“I bought this boat about a year ago and was looking for a place to stay,” said Scott Marx, captain of the boat parked outside the venue for the weekend. “Found a spot in this marina and they were able to slip me in right here on the dock the weekend of ‘Widespread’ which is also my birthday weekend.”
Marx only has tickets to Sunday’s show, the last of Widespread Panic’s weekend stay. For Friday and Saturday’s concerts, though, he plans to watch from the top of his ship. Marx says he can see the stage if he climbs the front mast. Meanwhile, back on the ground, he looks forward to enjoying the weekend with his friends.
“Cocktail hour starts shortly. We will be here all weekend and I look forward to doing this all summer,” said Marx.
Friday night’s concert brought music fans to the Cape Fear from cities across the country including parts of Florida, Virginia, and Tennessee, all of whom were ecstatic to watch Widespread Panic open up the new venue.
For those who live near the Port City, they look forward to watching shows at the amphitheater for years to come
“This is amazing to have a venue this size right by the water,” said Marx. “We’re happy.”
Widespread Panic has two more shows at the Live Oak Bank Pavilion this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Both shows start at 7:00 p.m.
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