Jackson Live grand reopening Saturday to feature ‘Idol’ contestant

A concert hasn’t been conducted on the stage at Jackson Live and Event Center in Seymour since October 2020.

For the safety of performers and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rodney and Amanda Burton decided to hold off on shows.

On Saturday, the stage will again be alive with the sound of music.

“American Idol” contestant Courtney Arnold will perform with the Jackson Live house band. The show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 for adults and free for kids under 12. They can be purchased in advance by calling 812-521-1282 or at the door Saturday starting at 6 p.m.

The Burtons also have announced the next show will be April 10, and the plan is to keep that going on Saturday nights for the rest of the year.

“It’s normalcy,” Rodney said of returning to live music shows. “A feeling of normalcy would be nice. Three hours at a minimum to get away and just forget about your troubles, sit back and relax and listen to good music.”

Last year’s grand opening July 18 drew 250 people, which is half of the capacity of the 8,700-square-foot venue at 1849 First Ave.

Then due to the pandemic, Jackson Live took a break until hosting four more shows in September and October.

Since then, they have just hosted some wedding receptions, Christmas parties, bridal showers and corporate meetings.

“People were looking for a larger building to be able to host things so they could spread out more and try to please everyone,” Amanda said.

While Rodney said it was a big letdown to not have live shows after putting in all of the work to get Jackson Live up and running, they decided about six weeks ago it was the right time to reopen based on health reports and consultation with the Jackson County Health Department.

For health and safety measures, they have moved chairs around to allow for social distancing and added OptiClean air purifiers in the building, Rodney said.

The pandemic resulted in three similar jamboree-style venues in southern Indiana closing, so the Burtons feel fortunate to still be open. Some of those venues have fixed seats that can’t be moved around to provide social distancing, Rodney said.

“We’re fortunate we can move stuff around and set tables up and do whatever,” he said.

In terms of booking the grand reopening act, Rodney said he reached out to people he knew, and one of them knew Arnold. The 29-year-old is from Mount Vernon, Kentucky, where she has been a regular performer at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center.

During her music career, she has opened for Ricky Skaggs and Brenda Lee and performed with Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers.

In her audition for Season 19 of ABC’s singing competition, “American Idol,” she earned a golden ticket to go to Hollywood, California. She last auditioned when she was 16 but didn’t advance.

“After receiving three yeses from the judges, I was honored to be able to compete in Hollywood week on the Dolby Theatre stage in Hollywood, California,” she said. “Extreme measures were taken to ensure our safety during the pandemic, but I still felt so lucky to be able to sing on such a prestigious stage while so many others in the music industry hadn’t gotten to all last year. I am definitely so grateful.”

Arnold said she’s looking forward to being onstage at a jamboree-style show again.

“I have done these types of shows since I was 5 years old, and it’s just like coming home to me,” she said.

It will be her first time in Seymour.

“I am so excited and looking forward to it as I have heard how beautiful the town is,” Arnold said. “I am also so honored to be part of Jackson Live’s debut show for this year. Such an honor and I hope that all of the patrons attending will enjoy my voice and music. I can’t wait to meet everyone.”

Others performing Saturday are Rodney Burton, Brad Magness, David Graves, Lanny McIntosh, Mille Meunier, Curt Edwards, Arnold Olsteen, David Lucid and more.

The April 10 show will feature Burton, Magness, McIntosh, Edwards, Olsteen, Lucid, Dave Jackson, Bret Raper, Billy Keith and more.

For information on future shows and events, follow Jackson Live and Event Center LLC on Facebook or visit jacksonliveandevents.com.

“We will still have weekly guests come in every week to sit in with the house band,” Rodney said. “We’ve talked to some of the Nashville (Tennessee) acts, and they are getting close to ready to come. They are going to come. They are just not ready to give me a date because a lot of their musicians are on unemployment (due to no shows during the pandemic).”

All shows are sponsored by the Burtons’ other business, Schneider Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Inc.

“God knows if it wasn’t for that place, we wouldn’t have survived it,” Rodney said. “Thankfully, that’s our bread and butter.”

This summer, the Burtons hope to host some outdoor concerts. Rodney said he would like to do a Fourth of July event with music and food trucks throughout the day, and attendees could watch the city’s fireworks show in Freeman Field that night.

They also would like to do a talent contest and start offering auditions to perform at the weekly shows.

“People just need to follow us and keep up with what we’ve got going on because we’ve got a lot planned,” Rodney said. “It’s just a matter of getting back going again. We’re excited.”

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What: Grand reopening country music show

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Jackson Live and Event Center, 1849 First Ave., Seymour

Who: “American Idol” contestant Courtney Arnold of Mount Vernon, Kentucky, will perform with Rodney Burton, Brad Magness, David Graves, Lanny McIntosh, Mille Meunier, Curt Edwards, Arnold Olsteen, David Lucid and more

Tickets: $15 for adults and free for kids under 12; they can be purchased in advance by calling 812-521-1282 or at the door Saturday starting at 6 p.m.

Information: Call 812-521-1282, visit jacksonliveandevents.com, search for Jackson Live and Event Center LLC on Facebook or email [email protected]