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Folsom prepares to host 8,000 of its closest friends

Folsom Live street party, music fest set for Sept. 26
By: Laura Meyers, Telegraph Correspondent
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KNOW AND GO What: Folsom Live Where: 600-900 Sutter Street When: 5-10 p.m., Sept. 26 Cost: $30 in advance $35 day of Info: folsomlive.net --- Putting on a 10-stage music festival and street party with 8,000 people in a four-block stretch of historic Folsom requires months of planning and hundreds of behind-the-scenes volunteers. On Sept. 26, thousands will flood onto Sutter Street for Folsom Live, a Folsom Chamber of Commerce production. Twelve bands will perform between the 600 and 900 blocks of Sutter Street on four outdoor stages and six indoor stages from 5 to 10 p.m. In its fifteenth year, the concert offers a wide range of performers. They have booked tribute bands, country bands, rock and roll bands and some in between. They include country act Dave Russell, Whisky Dawn, Jay White, and The Pussycat Angels, a tribute to the girl group Pussycat Dolls. “With 12 bands there really isn’t a headliner,” said Kris Keables, volunteer for the Chamber of Commerce. “The styles are all over the spectrum for any music taste.” Christina Mastro of Folsom who has attended the event in past years noticed the wide variety of music. “You start in the day time with tons of people with many genres of music playing, drawing their specific crowds,” she said. “Then its night, the street is lit up and it’s a total party environment.” The Folsom Chamber of Commerce works nine months of the year to plan and prepare for Folsom Live. Marcia Durst, an event coordinator who works on Folsom Live as part of a committee, pays attention to the acts. “During the event we look for a response from the audience.” Durst said. “When you have this many venues, it gives an opportunity to bring back favorites, but also incorporate new acts.” The committee receives demo tapes from bands interested in playing at Folsom Live, but also seeks out new bands or fan favorites she said. The Powerhouse Pub outdoor stage located on the 600 block of Sutter Street is one of four outdoor stages. Owner, Murray Weaver said the quality of the entertainment lures a regional crowd in addition to the local participation. “There are stages and bands up and down Sutter Street, but the event ends at 10 due to noise restrictions and several thousand people filter into the bars and restaurants,” he said. “It’s a real boon for the bars and restaurants.” To help manage the thousands of people, Riley Street is closed. Private security is hired to monitor the stages, entrances and exits and approximately 12 police officers are also on site to aid with safety. There are also about 120 volunteers present the night of Folsom LIVE. “We use most of our volunteers at the gate because it takes a lot of man power to organize an event expecting 8,000 people,” Durst said. “Our volunteers work greeting, ticket taking and selling, checking bags and we have to do it all efficiently.” Volunteers not on site will work the shuttle station located at Wal-Mart on Riley Street. The shuttle is free and will run every fifteen minutes. Due to the increasingly regional crowd, the chamber is considering adding additional shuttle stations for the El Dorado Hills, Roseville and Rocklin areas. For other areas Regional Transit, a sponsor of the event will offer free light rail to passengers with a ticket to Folsom Live. The last train will leave the historic district at 11:30 p.m. Mary Ann McAlea, Folsom Tourism Director and Folsom Live committee member, estimates more than 1,000 hours are spent between planning and labor for the event. “This kind of event is important because it promotes Folsom business through sponsorship and exposure to the businesses in historic Folsom,” she said. “When people see Folsom Auto Mall is a sponsor and start doing more business there, it’s good for Folsom residents.” Folsom needs as much sales tax coming in as possible because that’s what aid city services, she said. Folsom Live rotates thousands of people through historic Folsom and many of them are not locals. “One of the significant trends is that people are coming from out of the area, which is a plus because people are eating in our restaurants and staying in hotels,” she said. “The event is beyond music — it promotes our city, our destination and economic well-being.” Five hotels in Folsom, including Hilton Garden Inn, Larkspur Landing, Lake Natoma Inn, Courtyard Marriott and Residence Inn are offering special rates. The deals include two free tickets and shuttle to the venue with bookings for Folsom Live. For more information on Folsom Live, visit folsomlive.net.