Lady Antebellum coming home for dedication

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Lady Antebellum will return home to Columbia County on Oct. 28.

Dave Haywood (from left), Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley will perform in Columbia County on Oct. 28.  File/Associated Press
File/Associated Press
Dave Haywood (from left), Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley will perform in Columbia County on Oct. 28.

County officials announced Tuesday that the Grammy-winning country supergroup will perform at the new Evans Town Center Park as part of a dedication ceremony for an amphitheater named in their honor.

Also being dedicated that day is the Josh Kelley Stage, named for the pop hitmaker recently turned country singer.

Kelley is the brother of Lady Antebellum vocalist Charles Kelley. The brothers and Lady Antebellum guitarist Dave Haywood grew up in Columbia County and graduated from Lakeside High School.

County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said Tuesday that tickets go on sale Oct. 1 in the lobby of the Columbia County Library on Evans Town Center Boulevard.

The 5,000-seat Lady Ante­bel­lum Amphitheater and Josh Kelley Stage are the focal point of the nearly $4.8 million park on Evans Town Center Boulevard that also includes picnic pavilions, a large gazebo, a splash pad and a dog park.

Though Josh Kelley likely won’t make it to the dedication ceremony, Cross said officials hope to bring Kelley and many other acts to the amphitheater in the future.

The new amphitheater, Cross said, should provide many musical groups wishing to perform in the Augusta area a viable alternative to downtown venues including Bell Auditorium and James Brown Arena.

Construction started on the park in November, the same month Cross announced during a Lady Antebellum charity show at Bell Auditorium that the group would be the namesake for the new amphitheater.

He expects construction to conclude next month but didn’t know when a grand opening celebration might be held. He did say an Oct. 15 “tune-up” concert will be held and will feature local acts.

“We want to be able to check out the sound and lights at that amphitheater to make sure everything is working the way it should before Lady Antebellum gets here,” he said.

Only 3,100 general admission tickets will be sold for $40 each, with a limited number available per person.

Cross said most of the proceeds will go to the John W. Kelley, M.D., Cardiovascular Endowment for the education and training of students at the Harry T. Harper School of Cardiology and Vascular Technology at University Hospital. Some of the proceeds will benefit the MCG Children’s Medical Center.

Dr. John Kelley, father of Josh and Charles, is a cardiologist and heart surgeon from Augusta. He currently works part time at a clinic in north Georgia and raises cattle, Cross said.


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