FNL crowd

Crowd—A crowd gathers at a 2019 Friday Night Live concert, featuring Tommy Castro and the Painkillers. 

Fans of Cloverdale’s live music scene can dust off their dancing shoes — Friday Night Live will be back in July.

The Cloverdale Arts Alliance (CAA), which runs Friday Night Live (FNL), announced the return of the concert series this week. Straying from its usual May start date, this year’s Friday Night Live run will begin on July 2 and continue through Oct. 1.

“Friday Night Live promotes the best of Cloverdale and small-town America,” said Cloverdale Arts Alliance Executive Director Mark Tharrington in a statement. “We believe a vibrant local arts scene raises the quality of life for our entire community and are committed to doing everything we can to get the FNL series up and running again this summer.”

Having the concert series start a month later will help give the series a cushion against the unforseen impacts of COVID-19.

Friday Night Live is funded through the CAA, setting it apart from other local summer music events in the county, many of which are funded partially by local municipalities.

“We at Cloverdale Arts Alliance truly appreciate the continued community support and enthusiasm for FNL, which is our signature program,” Tharrington said. “We also appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we do our best to navigate this unprecedented situation.”

Last year, the concert series was slowly canceled in a series of month-to-month, with CAA trying to salvage what pieces of summer it could. Ultimately, however, last year’s Friday Night Live season was canceled in July 2020.

Being able to operate Friday Night Live marks an important turn for the Arts Alliance, which has had numerous fundraisers canceled in the past year or two, due to fires and a pandemic. Its 2019 November fundraiser was canceled in the aftermath of the Kincade Fire and neither the fundraiser nor Friday Night Live were able to happen in 2020.

“We are moving forward, booking bands and getting ready with the understanding that planning live outdoor music events has potential obstacles and unknowns,” Tharrington said. “We are optimistically anticipating the FNL venue in downtown Cloverdale will lend itself to compliance with pandemic-related restrictions, and CAA will be able to obtain necessary permits.”

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