Music group for Columbia’s ‘Famously Hot’ New Year’s announced

mlucas@thestate.comOctober 19, 2012 

Two-time Grammy Award-winning The Wallflowers, fronted by Jakob Dylan, son of legendary folk music icon Bob Dylan, will perform at this year’s Famously Hot New Year’s party in downtown Columbia.

See the band

The announcement was made at a champagne reception Thursday night that included fanfare, city officials, business leaders and food from one of the event’s newest corporate sponsors, grocery giant Whole Foods.

The celebration, set for Dec. 31, is the city’s second such foray into a Main Street music event.

Last year’s inaugural event, featuring George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, drew 20,000 people. And while the celebration cost $212,000 – a quarter of which came from taxpayer dollars – the event filled area hotels and restaurants and generated an estimated $1.5 million in economic impact for hotels, restaurants and retailers, officials have said.

Event organizers hope to reproduce that success this year, though Mayor Steve Benjamin hopes to have more of the cost picked up by corporate sponsorships.

“For this event to continue to be successful, we have to have great public-private partnerships,” Benjamin said.

In addition to Whole Foods, about a half dozen corporate sponsors are on board with the downtown event, though the mayor said they could “always use more.”

Those who attended Thursday night’s event were treated to music by The Wallflowers.

Said to have defined the sound of the mid-90s, the roots rock group debuted in 1992 with the self-titled album “The Wallflowers.” The band then went on to have such breakout hits as “6th Avenue Heartache” and “One Headlight” from their second release, “Bringing Down the Horse,” which sold more than 4 million copies.

Having been on something of a seven-year hiatus, the group recently released its highly anticipated and long-awaited studio album, “Glad All Over,” earlier this month.

Other acts will be announced sometime next month, event organizers said.

Tickets will range from $25 to $250, and a free general-admission area will be offered as well. Ticket information is available at the event’s website at www.famouslyhotnewyear.com.

Reach Lucas at (803) 771-8657.

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