Area musical acts set the stage for Firefly Nights

Contemporary country singer Chris Sayler will perform with Shellby Messmer at the opening Firefly Nights Friday, June 15 in downtown Bowling Green.

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

Michelle Elson won’t play favorites.

When asked if she’s particularly excited about any of the action is booked for Firefly Nights, she says, “I’m truly stoked about everyone I could get into the lineup.”

The lineups for the three summer street festivals on Main Street Bowling Green nave been announced. Firefly Nights runs 6-10 p.m. the third Friday of June, July and August with music, food, a farmers market, kids activities, and arts and craft vendors.

Main Street will be closed from Court to Washington, with east-west traffic still able to cross at Four Corners. Stages will be set up on each end with performers alternating sets.

Acts booked to perform in order of appearance.

June 15

Boo Lee Crosser

Sam Dell

Chris & Shellby

Amelia Airharts

July 20

Vester Frey

Dooley Wilson

Ryan Roth & The Sideshow

Minglewood Labor Camp

August 17

A.S. Coomer

Craig James

Groove Canoe

Freight Street

Elson got involved when the organizers started asking around for support. She was enthusiastic about the idea and offered to help. She took on booking the music. That assignment was a natural.

Elson operates Twin Owls Photography, specializing in photographing bands. She’s started branching out into promotion and booking. And she’s married to a musician. So she has a lot of connections on the scene.

“Many of my friends are musicians in the 419,” Elson said.

As soon as she started asking around for bands wanting to play Firefly Nights, she got an immediate response. “Everyone was very excited.”

She said a lot of regional performers are interested in breaking into the Bowling Green scene.

Elson wanted a variety of performers and leaned toward acts that performed at least some original material.

“When someone does their own songs the art is coming from their soul,” she said.

She’s passionate about music, and to see that same passion expressed by performers “is a great thing.”

The June 15 lineup illustrates her pursuit of variety.

It opens with Bowling Green singer-songwriter Boo Lee Crosser, who Elson described as “an up and coming musician.” He composes all his own material and has a distinctive delivery to match his original music.

Next up will Sam Dell from Bryan. He will play a solo set. Elson described him as a “good old country singer” who will mix a few covers in with his original songs.

The duo of Chris Sayler and Shellby Messmer will present more country, though with a more contemporary pop flair. Sayler who had been working with a band has been gigging more with Messmer, who sings and plays bass.

Wrapping of the night will be the Amelia Airharts, a classic rock five-some. The all-female band won two rounds of the battle of the bands at Hollywood Casino. Elson felt they’d had the right energy to bring the first night to a climax, and kick what promises to be new summer tradition.

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