Virtual concert planned in lieu of Foster Fest

This 2018 photo shows a couple dance during Foster Fest while a band plays. With April's Foster Fest canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a virtual concert is planned for Friday, April 3, to take the place of the event.

A virtual concert is planned to fill the first Friday void left by the cancellation of April’s Foster Fest.

From March to October, the first Friday typically sees hundreds of people gather along Foster Street in downtown Dothan to enjoy music, dancing, food, and just hanging out during Foster Fest.

With the coronavirus pandemic reaching the Wiregrass, the street festival was canceled for April and May’s event is still up in the air. But Premier Entertainment Group, which handles to production of Foster Fest, has worked with event organizer Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority to host a virtual concert on Friday, April 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The hope is the virtual concert will give people an outlet to relax for a little while at a time when anxiety is high.

“We are all scared right now with everything that’s going on with the coronavirus and everybody is in isolation and everybody’s at home and bored,” said Jessica Parker, director of merchants and marketing for the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority. “We just feel like it’s really important for the morale of our community to bring something to them that’s uplifting and something that will take their minds off of things for a little while.”

People can watch Live from Downtown via a livestream link on the Facebook pages for Premier Entertainment Group, Foster Fest, and Visit Dothan.

Live from Downtown will feature live music by Jamah Terry & Co. from Panama City as well as the Premier Mobile DJ. The event, which will be livestreamed from Premier’s downtown location, could become an ongoing series during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Daniel Lewis, project manager for Premier Entertainment Group. The company has created a film studio for the music series and other possible livestream events. The event will be on a closed set with only enough essential people to make it happen and stay within social distancing guidelines.

The music, he said, will be family-friendly music for all ages, including oldies and contemporary music.

“We want people to be able to bring this in their homes, put it on their TVs, and have a good time with the whole family,” Lewis said.

The Facebook link allows people to set a reminder for the concert as well as create a “watch party” so they can invite their Facebook friends to watch along with them.

“We want to get as many people as we can,” Lewis said. “The way Facebook works is the more people that are viewing a video at one given time, the more Facebook sees that as a popular video and they organically push it out more and more. So, the more people we can get to view it, the more actual people it will get out to.”

Foster Fest organizers will make a final decision next week regarding May’s event, but it’s not looking hopeful, Parker said. It’s important, she said, for everybody to feel comfortable once the event does return.

“We want to be able to get back to it just as soon as we’re able to,” Parker said. “Right now our main concern is the safety of our community.”

Load comments