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Folsom Live 2011

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Folsom Live

Folsom Live is one of the largest and most anticipated entertainment events in Folsom and surrounding areas. This year the event was billed as “30 Bands, 10 Stages, 2 Nights” and Friday night’s entertainment and attendance was amazing.

This year a large portion of the proceeds from Folsom Live will go to Hope Productions Foundation which is this year’s charity partner.

Sutter Street Stage crowd

Hope Productions Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Sacramento that provides support and training for local charities serving children and youth. The Foundation, with support from the community, has distributed over $2.1 million in contributions, resources and in-kind business training to local youth and children nonprofits since 2008. Their work empowers children’s charities and with community support spreads “Hope” throughout the area.

Ancelle Contreras from Hope Productions Foundation noted that many of the volunteers at the Sponsor area were from the Foundation. Friday’s event included a Western Health Advantage VIP Reception. The reception included a dinner provided by Karen’s Bakery of Folsom.

In helping coordinate the Folsom Live Sponsor area Contreras and her volunteer team were very busy and at the same time extremely helpful as they ushered guests to the VIP reception.

VIP wine tasting

The VIP reception also included a wide selection of wine tasting from several Amador vintners. The dinner provided for sponsors was served to over 40 tables with settings for 10. The tables were situated in front of the Main Stage on Trader Lane.

VIP dinner tables

Twelve acts took the outdoor stages on Friday night. The Sutter Street Stage was taken up by O Street Jumps, Nathan Dale, Diego’s Umbrella and The English Beat. Down on the Scott Road Stage the Eleven Band, Eddie Bush Band and Zoo Station played. The Riley Street Stage included the Rhythm Vandals, Lara Johnston with William Champlin and Abbey Sky. The Main Stage on Trader Lane hosted Big Boss Graffiti and Eddie Money.

Eddie Bush Band
Diego’s Umbrella

The Powerhouse Pub hosted Lydia Pense and the Cold Blood as well as Department Rock. Tragically White played at the Folsom Hotel and DJ Party Service entertained guests at the Hacienda Restaurant. These 3 indoor stages had entertainment during and after the outdoor stage performances.

The many bands that occupied the stages each had its followers. The early bands had smaller crowds as some of them played starting at 5 o’clock while many people were still getting off work. As the evening progressed more people filled the stage areas. Folsom Live was expecting about 8,000 people to attend the event.

The 2011 Folsom Live event expanded to 2 days and included musical acts that had something for everyone. Although Pat Benatar had to cancel her scheduled appearance the Friday evening crowd seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the event.

Folsom Live crowd

For those people who came from out of town and used public transportation their Folsom Live ticket provided free Regional Transit and had extended service until 11 p.m. on both nights for trains leaving Folsom.

Shuttle service was provided at the Folsom Wal-Mart, Briggs Ranch Plaza and Folsom Pavilions. Folsom Sports Garage also had a “party bus” available. Taxi service (not connected to Folsom Live) was available as well.

This year beverage tokens could be purchased while waiting for shuttle service. Tokens were required for drinks except at inside bars and restaurants. Restaurants and other shops on Historic Folsom were open during the event. This year the overall planning was quite exceptional and helped things move easier and it also helped showcase the renovations that have been going on in Folsom’s Historic District.

Of the many acts performing on Friday night I was able to enjoy the Rhythm Vandals, Eddie Bush Band, Diego’s Umbrella, Zoo Station, The English Beat and the legendary Eddie Money.

Rhythm Vandals

The Folsom Chamber of Commerce has been putting together the event for the past 8 years and provides many of the volunteers. As a volunteer the last couple of years at the Folsom Live event I’ve been able to witness the dedication and hard work the Chamber puts forth every year to organize the event.

Joe Gagliardi, Folsom Chamber of Commerce CEO addressed the crowd at the Main Stage. He thanked everyone and welcomed guests to Folsom. “It’s the 18th year for what started off as Taste of Folsom and moved on to Folsom Live. This is the 8th year of Folsom Live and for those of you who may or may not know, this historic district is being revitalized and it was envisioned as both an art and entertainment district. This is really the marquee event for that niche here in Folsom. Thank you very much for joining us.”

Chamber of Commerce CEO, Joe Gagliardi

Gagliardi went on to say that hotel rooms for the event last year sold out and indicated that Folsom’s Chamber of Commerce plans to make this a multiple day, city wide, nationally recognized music festival. Gagliardi went on to say that this could not be accomplished without the many sponsors and volunteers that make the event such a success.

In recognizing Hope Foundation Gagliardi said, “We’re proud to have partnered with Hope Productions Foundation as our beneficiary. The great work in our community and those around us made this choice a simple one.“ He went on to say, “Our goal is to help the Folsom community and Hope Foundation and by doing that we were able to upgrade the level of talent in what we have this year. Please enjoy yourselves!”

Debbie Gabelich, Hope Productions Foundation CEO follower Gagliardi’s address. With a glaring spot light on her, Gabelich said, “Good evening, I can’t see you but welcome. On behalf of Hope Productions Foundation, the board and staff we’d like to thank the Folsom Chamber for choosing to partner with us in this great event, we’re thrilled to be here.” Gabelich talked about the Foundation and thanked all those involved.

Debbie Gabelich, Hope Productions Foundation CEO

Gabelich invited one of the Foundation recipients to address attendees and introduced Rhonda Staley-Brooks, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) in the Sacramento area. Stanley-Brooks began by saying, “First of all Hope Productions is helping children charities one at a time through training, support and donations and I’m just one of those lucky charities.” She spoke about BBBS, when she started in 1993 and making her first match for the organization. At that time a boy involved had lost his dad in a car accident and his mom brought him to BBBS to help give her son a positive role model. The boy, Brett, was matched with Ian for 6 years. Stanley-Brooks went on to say, “Brett went on to UC Davis and he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering.” She said that Hope Productions can help similar things happen as they develop their partnership with BBBS.

Rhonda Staley-Brooks, CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters

A live auction was also conducted at the Main Stage and Kevin O’Callaghan auctioneer extraordinaire served as both auctioneer and Master of Ceremonies. The California State Champion Auctioneer and top 10 ranked in the International Auctioneers Championship also has a great voice for singing and the audience was treated to a couple of his many talents.

Auctioneer Kevin O’Callaghan

The fast talking O’Callaghan, after singing an auctioneer country song, conducted the live auction that included 11 items up for bid. Auction items included an autographed electric guitar by KISS, a Cabo Wabo Getaway that also included a signed bottle of Sammy Hagar tequila. A Bobby Jackson basketball clinic for 12 kids and a St. Patrick’s Day party donated by Mick and Sandy Malaney. Several other auction items were bid on.

Auction action

As the evening continued fans waited for The English Beat to take the Sutter Street Stage. By this time the whole area was packed with fans waiting in anticipation. Dave Wakeling founder and principal songwriter for The English Beat brought the ska band onstage to a great ovation by the crowd.

The English Beat

Before the English Beat finished their set I headed down to the Main Stage to see Eddie Money. The crowd had grown much larger and since many of the stage areas are fenced off the walking corridors became much smaller as fans stood outside the fenced areas to watch their favorite bands. It almost seemed like a crowded subway system in the heart of New York during rush hour. Things were at a standstill and you had to maneuver by thousands of people and it must have taken me about 15 minutes to walk 150 yards.

Eddie Money fans

Once at the Main Stage I noticed Eddie Money was enjoying performing for Folsom fans. After a few of his songs he sang the new single “One More Soldier Coming Home” which is a tribute to our military personnel who have lost their lives while serving. After the song Money talked about his partnership with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. The single that went on sale in late May will give 100% of its proceeds to the Fund.

Eddie Money

Money played a long set and played most of his hits ending with “Two Tickets to Paradise” or at least everyone thought so. Money however surprised everyone and continued to play and came back for an encore or two.

A very large crowd viewed his performance from outside the fenced areas and up in the balconies of establishments on the Hacienda Restaurant back areas. The lawn areas were packed and as Money played dancing could be seen all around.

The last outdoor act of the evening was nothing less than spectacular.

Friday evening’s event created a fantastic atmosphere for performers and guests. Not only that but a great organization will benefit from the event. The Folsom Chamber of Commerce, Hope Productions Foundation and the many sponsors involved did a great job to once again make Folsom Live a popular event.

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