JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – The Britt Festivals begin today with the first concert of its summer series. The pavilion is filled to capacity for Saturday night’s Cyndi Lauper performance.
Even in the morning, early risers stood waiting to get the good seats.
“I enjoy doing it, I spend a lot of time with my grandkids before the show sitting it out,” said concertgoer Bill Wenzel.
Wenzel has been coming here for over 40 years. He even made it an annual tradition with his granddaughters.
But others aren’t even there for the show. Britt Sitters like Amber Wilson hold spots in line for ticket purchasers for $5 an hour.
“It’s a really great way to make money, especially for teenagers who don’t have much to do and they can just sit here and read,” said Wilson.
As the early risers wait as long as nine hours for the gates to open, local shop owners soak in the calm before what they hope will be a very big storm.
“Last year was good, so hopefully this year will be at least as good as last year. We’re hoping,” said Picos owner Michael Richardson.
Organizers say those hopes will be rewarded. After a surprisingly good season last year, this year is already projected to be even better in ticket sales.
They say the lineup – which also includes acts like REO Speedwagon, Steve Miller Band, Michael Franti, and Ziggy Marley among others – will continue to bring as many as 2,200 people to the Pavilion at a time throughout the Summer.
“It’s a little, small city… it becomes a community,” said the Festival’s Executive Director Donna Briggs. “Lots of food and drink, and hopefully everyone will drink responsibly and have a fabulous time tonight. How could you not?”