Southern rockers .38 Special to headline Warner Robins Independence Day celebration concert

alopez@macon.comMay 14, 2014 

.38 Special will perform July 3 at McConnell-Talbert Stadium.

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WARNER ROBINS -- Southern rock icon .38 Special will be headlining the city’s Independence Day celebration.

“Southern rock, that’s what it’s all about” Mayor Randy Toms said after his announcement Wednesday at the Warner Robins Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The band, which formed in 1976, is known for hits that include “Hold on Loosely,” “Rockin’ Into the Night,” “Caught Up in You” and “Fantasy Girl.” The band has sold more than 20 million albums and singles, according to its website. Don Barnes, guitarist and vocalist, is the only original member still with the group.

The free concert will be held July 3 at McConnell-Talbert Stadium, and gates will open at 6 p.m. Organizers also have planned a large fireworks display and a midnight road race for runners as part of the celebration.

A committee of about 10 people is working to plan and set up the traditional event, which has a projected cost of about $130,000, said Ken McCall, chairman of the Warner Robins Downtown Development Authority.

This is the first year the organization is orchestrating the event, McCall said, and being able to draw .38 Special depended on several factors.

“It’s not just making a phone call,” he said. “Routing has a lot to do with it and logistics.”

The Downtown Development Authority was successful in negotiating for the band to add Warner Robins to its schedule of summer concerts, McCall said. On July 4, the band is scheduled to play in North Carolina.

“We chose .38 Special because we thought that it would fit the demographic the best,” McCall said.

The Downtown Development Authority is working to line up at least one opening act.

“We have enough pledges to cover the costs that we’ve incurred at this point, but we’re encouraging more sponsors to come on board,” he said. “It’s going to be a good show and a great night.”

To contact writer Andres David Lopez call 478-256-9751.

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