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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

No. 6 Most Read Story of the Year: Downtown concert series

The Port City Marina, adjacent to the Marina Grill, welcomed thousands of concertgoers as part of its Friday Night Live! and Saturday Sunset Series. (Courtesy PC Marina)

WILMINGTON — When WDI ran the concert series Downtown Sundown, it would bring thousands of people to the Riverfront every Friday night through the summer to enjoy free live music.

Earlier in 2022, WDI announced it would no longer host the event, but picking up where it left off was Haven Holsinger, who works for Marina Grill, Port City Marina, and Pier 33 entertainment venue.

CATCH UP: Countdown of most read stories of 2022

Holsinger helped oversee Downtown Sundown when she was employed at WDI under former CEO Ed Wolverton. She told Port City Daily earlier in the spring she saw firsthand the draw of the event; it would bring in tribute bands and sell $1 wristbands for the public to purchase alcohol, with money from the wristbands donated to charity.

With an understanding of how the program worked, Holsinger decided to pick up the concept for Pier 33.

The group already had been hosting plenty of local music at Port City Marina, which continued last year with more than 20-plus shows during its Saturday Sunset Series. Holsinger launched Friday Night Live! to bring in tribute acts as well.

“There’s a sense of nostalgia to tribute bands,” Holsinger told PCD then. “You can tell someone exactly the first time you heard a band or a specific song, and how that song impacted your life.”

Both series, hosted on the northern part of the Riverfront near Live Oak Bank Pavilion, brought in thousands, offering almost 40 free chances to catch live music.

Holsinger told Port City Daily the series will return in 2023 as well.

Here is a look back:


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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