Summer Jam founders happy to bring The Fray to Castle Rock

Concert on July 13 to feature national, local bands

Posted 7/1/19

The Fray is coming to Castle Rock. That's a big deal to the men behind the annual Castle Rock Summer Jam concert, which is held at the Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park and is hosting …

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Summer Jam founders happy to bring The Fray to Castle Rock

Concert on July 13 to feature national, local bands

Posted

The Fray is coming to Castle Rock.

That's a big deal to the men behind the annual Castle Rock Summer Jam concert, which is held at the Amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park and is hosting Denver-based The Fray this month.

Summer Jam founders John Saunders and Bill Clarke said booking the band is one more step in their overall goal of boosting Castle Rock's musical offerings, a goal that formed soon after the concert's inception two years ago.

The men first launched Summer Jam in 2017 with their personal bands playing to a crowd of about 600 people, far more people than they expected, they said.

“That's when we said: 'What can we do to really help revitalize and maintain the Castle Rock music scene, as opposed to travel north to Denver?'” Clarke said.

The duo decided to try and book national artists for future events. Last year's headliner was Big Head Todd, which pulled a crowd of about 2,000 people.

With this year's headliners The Fray, who rose to fame from hits like “How to Save a Life,” “You Found Me” and “Over My Head (Cable Car),” they're preparing for 2,500 people.

“We're pumped,” Clarke said. “We're really excited that they accepted our invitation to join Castle Rock Summer Jam.”

Tickets are on sale now for the July 13 show, which opens with solo act Dylan Streight and local band Dead Red Five. Saunder's band the John Saunders Band and Clarke's band Solar will play the event as well. More information on the concert and links for ticket purchases are available at castlerocksummerjam.com.

Saunders and Clarke also make a point to incorporate philanthropy into each Summer Jam. The first concert donated a portion of proceeds, $2,500, to the Douglas/Elbert County Task Force, now named the Hope and Help Center. Last year, Summer Jam raised $10,000 for the center and $5,000 toward music scholarship for Douglas County students.

This year a portion of proceeds will benefit the Foundation for Douglas County Schools.

Saunders said the business community, the Economic Development Council and the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce have been supportive of building up the town's entertainment options, including through music festivals like Maddiepalooza, hosted by Maddie's Biergarten.

“There's a loose coalition of independent operators, meaning local establishments and owners of those establishments, that have really fostered live music at their venues,” he said. “It's really kind of an undercurrent that's been brewing for quite a while.”

And when the amphitheater was developed, that brought an additional venue to host big concerts, he said. Bands see the sunset as they play, and concertgoers watch a show against the backdrop of the town's iconic landmark, “The Rock.”

“It's really the Red Rocks of Castle Rock,” Saunders said.

Saunders and Clarke don't only want Castle Rock residents to know about a vibrant local music scene — they want national artists to think of the town as an attractive place to add on their tour stops. They've been encouraged when they see people on social media excited for The Fray's concert, they said.

“That's our goal,” Clarke said. “We want people to feel proud.”

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