This week’s CityJam concert will make history Thursday as the first event to be held in downtown Seymour’s new Crossroads Community Park.
Up and coming country music singer Jake Dodds will perform a free show on the covered stage beginning at 6:30 p.m. The park is located on U.S. 50 at the railroad tracks across from the old Blish Mill silos.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase from The Pines and Chillicen beginning at 6 p.m. Alcohol also is available through Bartholomew County Beverage.
Dodds, from Unionville, is no stranger to Seymour, having played shows at Brewskie’s, the Jackson County Visitor Center and the Oktoberfest. It was his connections with the Oktoberfest board that helped him get in the CityJam lineup this year.
He is the first country artist to play CityJam.
“We travel all over the country to play nowadays, and CityJam seemed like a great event and it’s here in Indiana,” he said.
It also helped that his good friend, Shelly Cox Beauchamp of Jackson County, runs his fan club.
“She has been trying to get us back to Seymour for a long time, so I’m glad we can make that happen,” he said.
Dodds grew up with music all around him, listening to Def Leppard on the radio with his mom and then watching The Statler Brothers show and The Grand Ole Opry at his grandparents’ house.
“My grandpa played country music and both my grandmas sing in church or groups around town,” he said. “I guess it was just in me. I was always singing, drove the other kids on the school bus crazy.”
Although he’s honored to be the first to perform at the new park, he also feels a little guilty.
“Some might say it should be a Seymour person to be the first, but I’m still a Hoosier, so I think that makes it OK,” he said.
Becky Schepman, executive director of Seymour Main Street, said she is excited about the show and hopes lots of people come out to get their first look at the city’s newest event venue.
This is the second CityJam concert of the season. The summer concert series, now in its sixth year, is sponsored by Seymour Main Street, Seymour Crossing, The Tribune, JCB and Schneck Medical Center.
Other CityJam concerts scheduled at the park are Those Darn Torpedoes, a Tom Petty tribute band on Aug. 16 and The Louisville Crashers on Sept. 20.
Although there are 40 parking spots in the new park, Schepman encourages concertgoers to use the B&O Parking Lot and other free public lots downtown to allow the band and vendors to have plenty of space to set up and for the elderly and disabled attending the show.
People are still encouraged to bring their lawn chairs or blankets for seating on the event lawn. The new park has public restrooms open and available for use.
Also being planned at Crossroads Community Park is a free showing of the Disney Pixar movie “Monsters Inc.” on Oct. 19 and a Seymour Brew Festival next summer.
Schepman said having CityJam at the new park will provide a better overall experience for those in attendance.
“I think it will be a cooler climate with the new park being grass and not being held on the black top,” she said.
She also thinks the location is more visible and will help pull in more people.
“We are ecstatic to say the least to have this new amenity and truly grateful to (the city) for all it has done to support the downtown,” she said.
Dodds said people can expect “high energy, fun modern country music.”
“We will be playing a lot of my original music mixed in with modern radio covers,” he said. “I’m not out to emulate Thomas Rhett or Hank Williams, and I’m not out to push a social campaign or anything like that. They’re just songs that mean something to me and hopefully to others as well.”
He doesn’t want to see people sit far away from the stage.
“We like to put on a show just like if you paid big money to see a band up in Noblesville (at Ruoff Home Mortgage Center),” he said. “So come out and get involved in the show with us. Don’t let your fear of having fun keep you from having fun. We get two hours together. Let’s use them!”
Even if you aren’t a country music fan, Dodds said you won’t be disappointed in the show.
“The number one compliment after shows we get is always, ‘I don’t really like country music, but I enjoyed your show,’” he said. “So all I ask is that folks come give us a shot.”
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What: Seymour CityJam featuring Jake Dodds
When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: Crossroads Community Park in downtown Seymour, on U.S. 50 at the railroad tracks across from the old Blish Mill Silos
Cost: The show is free, but food and drinks from The Pines Restaurant will be available for purchase starting at 6 p.m.