When Upstate singer/songwriter Darby Wilcox and event producer Katie Hughes came together last summer to create the Village of West Greenville’s VILLive Concert Series, it was out of necessity.
Wilcox had booked a concert series with 16 or so performers, only to see the series fall through. Hughes, meanwhile, had just come off of organizing 2016’s edition of the Block Party, an arts-and-music festival designed to showcase the Village of West Greenville, and she wanted something to keep the momentum going.
So the two decided to team up. The result: VILLive, featuring Wilcox’s lineup, which included local favorites like Charles Hedgepath and out-of-towners like Jordan Igoe.
For VILLive 2017, Wilcox and Hughes — aka , creating Sweet Lime Productions — had more time to prepare. “It felt like we were constantly trying to catch up with ourselves last year, because of the circumstances the series was created from,” Hughes adds. “So it was very nice to have prep time.”
Because of the extra time, everything about VILLive is a little bigger. The most notable difference: each show will feature two performers instead of one. In addition to the two-band lineup, there will be more food and adult beverage vendors on hand. Even better, a portion of the beverage proceeds will go to benefit Safe Harbor domestic violence shelters.
Wilcox says she learned a lot from last year’s series and couldn’t have done any of this without Hughes. “There’s always more to do than you think there is,” Wilcox says. “I’m so grateful to have Katie because there are so many things that I would’ve overlooked if I hadn’t had her with me: Permits, making sure there are porta-potties there and figuring out if we needed a police presence there or not depending on the crowd size. I was able to take care of the music part of it, making sure that we got sound and making sure the artist showed up.”
This year’s schedule is also more varied than 2016’s, expanding from the largely folk and Americana acts to include jazz, hip-hop, gospel and funk.
“We wanted to mix it up and, cover all the bases in terms of genre,” Wilcox says.
“It’s a different vibe this year.” Hughes adds. “It’s a series that reflects the diversity in the Village.”
The series kicks off Friday, May 19 with Dixie Dave Allen and My Girl, My Whiskey, and Me. Other performers include Travers Brothership, Hillary Keane, Kentucky Gentleman’s Band, Charles Hedgepath, West End String Band, Padenrich Station, Jordan Igoe, Doug Jones, Wasted Wine, Little Lesley & the Bloodshots, and Rachel Kate.