Fort Gordon's entertainment director, Steve Walpert, says the future of Augusta's live-rock-music scene is riding on Saturday's Summer Music Festival, featuring chart-topping rockers Third Eye Blind.
Rather than booking a nostalgia act -- like K.C. and the Sunshine Band or Three Dog Night -- and country concerts, as in the past, the military installation is taking a considerable chance on Saturday's concert at Barton Field, which also includes performances by Our Lady Peace, Eve 6 and two Augusta bands.
If this one goes well, more modern-rock shows will be staged on post in the future, said Mr. Walpert.
"This is an important concert for Augusta," he said. "The future of rock shows will be determined by how well people come out for this thing."
The only large rock shows in Augusta in the past year were performances by drivin n cryin June 6 at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater and Wide Spread Panic at the Bell Auditorium in October.
Mr. Walpert is getting some encouraging signs that Augusta is tuned into Saturday's show.
He was buying a cooler at a grocery store recently, and when the clerk saw Mr. Walpert's military credentials, he asked what the Army needed a cooler for.
Mr. Walpert told the clerk it was for the rock bands and asked the young man if he was planning on attending. The clerk responded by showing him his tickets.
"I think there's a great buzz going on about it," said Mr. Walpert.
Advanced tickets are $15, but the price at the gate will be $18.
Local acts Nervous Boy and Impulse Ride will get the music started when the gates open at 5 p.m.
Organizers are expecting a maximum crowd of 15,000, but Mr. Walpert said a more realistic figure is about 10,000.
To stay cool, a misting tent will be available and the Fort Gordon Fire Department will be providing relief with water cannons spraying mist onto the crowd, said Tracy Swain, marketing director of the installation's Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.
"It's going to be very hot -- especially at 5 o' clock," said Ms. Swain.
All types of concessions, food and beverages will be available.
If you're 21 or older and plan to buy beer, you must have valid identification. ID wristbands will be issued to patrons 21 and older.
Parking is free, with directional signs all over the base, said Mr. Walpert.
What: Summer Music Festival
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Barton Field, Fort Gordon
How much: Admission at the gate is $18, advanced tickets can be purchased for $15 at Regions Banks, Pump 'n' Shop locations, Fort Gordon's Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and the Post Exchange
Phone: 791-4389 or 791-6779
5 p.m. - Nervous Boy
6 p.m. - Impulse Ride
7:30 p.m. - Eve 6
8 p.m. - Our Lady Peace
9:30 p.m. - Third Eye Blind
(Times are approximate)