Woodward, Okla. —
The baseball diamond at Fuller Park will become center stage for an outdoor concert this Saturday night.
The concert will feature 3 "really fresh and new up-and-coming country artists," who all have Oklahoma ties, according to event organizer Trent Sunderland.
The concert will begin at 6 p.m. with a performance by Woodward vocalist Bobbi Castor, to be followed by Corey White of Bixby and finish with headliner Clare Dunn of Nashville.
Sunderland described Castor as "a local fixture" whose musical talent "speaks for itself" and whose energy and enthusiasm "everybody loves."
He said the 19-year-old White is currently a student at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater who attends classes Monday through Thursday and then tours on the weekends. "Corey's been all over from Texas to the east coast to just everywhere," Sunderland said.
He said White also recently released his EP album, titled "Making Noise," on iTunes just this past week.
While Dunn currently lives in Nashville, she was born in Northwest Oklahoma and has some family members who still call the area home.
"Clare has recently been touring the country with some big acts," Sunderland said.
According to information on her website claredunn.com, the singer and guitarist has opened for such acts as Florida Georgia Line and Parmalee.
"We're getting all 3 artists at a unique time," Sunderland said. "They're all in the process of releasing CDs and touring and about to break out into the national scene. I think this is really going to be a 'wow, remember when they came to Woodward' type of thing. People are going to say 'I can't believe we saw them here before they were big stars.'"
In addition to the music, Sunderland said he believes people will really enjoy Fuller Park as the concert venue.
"I think it's going to be a real neat event having it at Fuller Park," he said. "The stage is going to be between first and second base, so people will be able to mill around in the infield or they can go sit in the stands. It's just going to be a real neat event."
He said it "combines the best of both" an outdoor and indoor concert, because it will have the "relaxed feel" of an outdoor venue, but attendees will still have easy access to concessions and clean restrooms.
"Plus Fuller Park is just a nice facility," he said. "A lot of people who done have kids that play baseball haven't had the opportunity just to see how nice of a facility Fuller Park is. This will give them the opportunity to experience this quality, updated venue."
Furthermore, Sunderland said he believes the concert and venue will be a great opportunity for families to get out and enjoy an evening of entertainment together.
"It's going to be an all-ages show," he said, noting "children 8 and under will get in free."
As a parent himself, Sunderland said he believes there is one aspect of the concert venue that should be appealing to parents of young children especially.
"I have a 6-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old so the thought of taking them to a concert is kind of scary. But Fuller Park is nice because it's fenced in, so it's secure enough to let the kids run around a bit and I don't have to worry about trying to hold them in a seat for 3 hours," he said.
Tickets for Saturday's concert are currently being sold at Dairy Queen and at all Kid's Inc. concession stands. They will also be available at the gate on Saturday night. Ticket prices vary by age, with a student ticket for children 9 to 17 and an adult ticket for those 18 and over.
Sunderland said gates will open at 5 p.m. with performances to begin at 6 p.m. People are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets so they can sit as close to the stage as they would like, he said.
"But we will have plenty of seating because in addition to the stands there at Fuller Park we'll be bringing in extra bleachers to put out in the field," he said.
Sunderland said he is hopeful that Saturday's concert will be just the first of many in what he hopes will become the "Crystal Beach Concert Series." It just depends on what kind of community support the concert receives.
"As long as we get the community support and people come out to support this, we'll continue to try to schedule more concerts at the park," he said, noting "eventually we'd like to have maybe 3 each year, with an event in late spring, one in summer and one in the fall."
Toward that end, Sunderland invited the whole community to attend Saturday's concert.
"If this is something people want to see continue, then they need to come out and enjoy what's going to be a really, really great concert," he said.