A new summer music venue is coming to the Lake Clark area

JACKSON COUNTY, MI – County Boots & Bands has grown in popularity since its first music festival in 2019, bringing a variety of live entertainment to the Jackson County area.

Thousands have gathered to hear country artists perform at local restaurants, theaters and even at the Jackson County/Keely Park Fairgrounds. However, moving from venue to venue and setting up stages has become increasingly difficult for the staff, promoter Scott Vitale said.

“It becomes difficult for logistics, it becomes difficult to plan and organize,” Vitale said. “When you’re constantly moving from one place to another, you have to recreate everything from scratch brand new.”

That’s why County Boots & Bands is proposing to create a temporary venue to host a summer concert series in the Lake Clark area. The series could bring about five weekends of acts in 2023, Vitale said.

The site will be on 16 acres of private property along US 127 near Lake Clark, accessible only via Industrial Drive, and will be owned by a resident from whom they will lease it, he said.

“It ticks every box we look for in a facility,” Vitale said. “There’s plenty of parking, easy access to major roads for people to come into town. It’s a brilliant setup because it’s already a natural amphitheater.”

Acts could include country music concerts, comedy shows and more, Vitale said.

However, before concerts can go ahead, Country Boots & Bands must receive venue approval from the Columbia Township Board of Trustees. A municipal ordinance requires a permit for events with more than 100 people.

The board postponed the decision to its Jan. 17 meeting so officials can learn whether other affected entities support the plan, including the city’s police and fire departments and the Michigan Department of Transportation, City Manager Barry Marsh said during the meeting.

“We’re checking off all those boxes and we look forward to working with the municipality to bring more live entertainment to the Jackson area,” Vitale said.

The City Council will review the proposal at its 7:00 p.m. meeting on Monday, February 20, at the City Hall, 8500 Jefferson Road.

Introducing the proposed Country Boots & Bands location in Clark Lake. The proposal still needs final approval from the Columbia Township Board of Trustees. (Photo courtesy of Duimstra Images).

If approved, Country Boots & Bands plans to create a temporary venue with a stage, bathrooms, parking, VIP and general entrances, as well as lighting and concessions. There will also be space next to the stage for tour buses and staff parking, Vitale said.

“It’s all the same stuff we use at all our other events, Porta-Johns, fencing, staging,” Vitale said. “The production team comes in, they do their work, then we clean up and we’re done.”

Once the summer is over, all the infrastructure will be torn down and reinstalled next summer, he said.

The event’s capacity will be 2,000 without camping, Vitale said. During the events, they plan to use all local vendors for food and other services, they said.

Country Boots & Bands hosted concerts at several other local venues in the area. Plans are to continue that relationship for shows throughout the rest of the year and for some special events, Vitale said.

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