Thank you for another great season! Hope we'll see you in October!

As we end another season of bluegrass music at our home in Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers, we want to thank all of you who made this an enjoyable and successful year.

We’ll start by thanking our hosts at the Alliance for the Arts where Lydia and Brandi and their dedicated volunteers and staff give us a home and help us promote our shows, and also Maria and Portia who are the Alliance volunteers that take care of the beverage service at each of our shows.  They’ve become a regular part of our group and we feel like they are part of our family.

The bands that play for us always bring their “A” game and do their best.  We had a variety of single, duo, and 4 and 5 piece bands this season and they did not disappoint.  They all love to perform on our stage as much as we love having them.  In addition to many local and regional acts, we were honored to have Jeremy and Corrina and High Fidelity play for us and a knockout performance it was!  We also had the New North Carolina Ramblers on our stage taking us back to a time before bluegrass was a thing.  They were entertaining and educational.  What a treat!

Our volunteers and board are the core of our operation.  No one is paid and all take a job that compliments the mission.  Linda and Jan are the first ones you see at the ticket table when you walk in.  Anita and Sue take care of our information table and answer questions.  Karen does our sound and Ken, Rick and Steve help with stage setup, ushering, lights and a host of other as-needed jobs.  Sharon and Pat keep the bands lined up and refreshed and ready to hit the stage.  Rick also takes care of 50/50 with help from Robbie when she is able to join us.  Dick is our MC and Doug opens and closes the building.  There is a lot of background work that goes on as well - marketing, band booking, finance, administration, and other boring but necessary jobs.

Speaking of marketing, a special thanks to Bruce White who has hosted our website for the last 6 years.  And he puts together our email announcements and sends them out for us.  Bruce also feels like a part of the family as he goes above and beyond the standard role of a web host.  He really looks out for us and suggests better ways to market and inform.  We really appreciate Bruce.

However it’s the audience that may be the most important piece of this puzzle.  Our audiences are the best.  They love the music and are enthusiastic when the bands are on stage.  Their participation and response is what makes all the work and effort worthwhile.  And we sincerely thank you for supporting us.  We know there is a lot of competition in our area for your time and money.  We strive to be the best entertainment value around.  We had 8 shows this season with an average attendance of 103 per show.  Last season we had 9 shows with an average attendance of 118 per show.  Lower numbers were experienced by almost all venues in this area particularly in the fall when effects of red tide and blue-green algae kept many people away from the area and concerned about venturing out.  We hope to pick back up next fall and exceed our previous years’ numbers.  True to our not-for-profit status, we did lose a little money this season.  But we have a healthy balance sheet and are still in great shape financially.

Our dates next season are October 13, November 2 (a Saturday), and December 29 in 2019.  January 19 (an evening show starting at 6 pm), February 9, March 22, and April 19 in 2020.  That’s 7 shows and they will all be filled with your favorite local bands playing the music you love.  Our national band will be Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers at the January 19, 2020 show.

We hope you’ll continue to support us and come join us next season for good fellowship around the music that unites us.  Thanks for being part of our bluegrass family.  Have a safe summer and come and see us again.