When pro golf came to West Virginia in 2010, DC Concerts was commissioned to bring top names in entertainment to the celebrated Greenbriar Resort in White Sulpher Springs.
For decades the resort remained a driving force for the local economy. But its age began showing by the 2000s. As luck would have it, in 2009, a lifelong state resident with a passion for golf purchased the resort and invested in extensive restorations and upgrades. So it was icing on the cake when the resort won its bid to acquire a rare open date on the PGA schedule and aptly named it The Greenbrier Classic.
Prior to the resort’s inaugural tournament, the hottest ticket in town was to its newest attraction. The Greenbrier Casino's Grand Opening was a star-studded event held on July 2, 2010.
That evening, DC Concerts produced an phenomenal show featuring Grammy-winning legend Lionel Richie. The night added a memorable on-stage celebration of Jessica Simpson's birthday with cake for all. The crowd also watched a humorous impromptu sing-along with Lionel and Brooke Shields.
Other notable names included Elliott Gould, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Christine Ebersole, golf royalty Jack Nicklaus, Shaquille O'Neal and of course hometown celebrities Miss West Virginia and Senator (then governor) Joe Manchin.
Later that month of July 2010, DC Concerts produced a live performance for a PGA event. The Greenbrier Classic Pairing Party, a high-stakes sport aimed at pairing golfers for play, enjoyed Smokey Robinson's soulful voice while his nostalgic set took the audience down memory lane.
After witnessing what a huge success a rebooted Greenbrier with its new PGA standing found in 2010, it was all but guaranteed we'd observe unprecedented growth and crowds the following year. So the day after the 2010 Greenbrier Classic came to a close, we began to prepare for 2011.
As time passed that year, it became evident that the entire PGA production had grown. So much so that the resort could no longer accommodate a stage production, so the concert series, and all its requirements, was moved several miles away to a remote field on the fairgrounds belonging to Greenbrier County. This fact brought with it countless challenges and unexpected circumstances that kept us on our toes for days.
With nowhere near required amounts available onsite, we had to contract "permanent" electric and water hook ups, as well as build shelters to provide all with temporary offices, dressing rooms and other accommodations. The other challenge was the bottleneck created in having a one lane dirt road as the only point of entry & exit for working crew and artists once the gates opened each day.
Though it was nerve-wracking at times, when the stage lights came up for the and that first note echoed out across the valley, we knew the end result of this production was truly incredible! When I think about this project today, I am left largely with a blur of intense activity, but remain amazed at what we achieved, only possible through our extraordinarily, well-coordinated production team.
Unlike any other production Greenbrier County had ever seen, music fans danced away Thursday night with Tim McGraw & Luke Bryan, Friday with the now-infamous Black Eyed Peas featuring Fergie and will.i.am, and Saturday with Miranda Lambert & Keith Urban.
PAs it turns out, PGA tournament participants were not the only attendees. Local residents came in droves! Some to buy tickets while others enjoyed the show from the seats of their cars which lined the highway outside the venue grounds where the music could be heard loud and clear.
It seems no one wanted to miss the biggest event yet in Greenbrier County history.
DC Concerts could not be prouder to have helped make it happen!