The annual Rockin' on the Point series is geared up differently from many outdoor music events in the Charleston area. Set within the Charleston Harbor Resort's courtyard at Patriots Point, the weekly event kicked off last week with local party-band champs Plane Jane on the stage.
Formerly billed as Party at the Point, these festive Friday evening bashes succeed partly due to the series' ability to book such a colorful variety of popular — and solid — acts, and also for its bucolic waterfront setting.
"We created the event to reach all demographics," says main organizer Rob Lamble, a longtime Charleston booking agent. "Young professionals and families can bring their kids out there, and there's plenty of beach area for them to enjoy. Also, it's a great opportunity for someone to come out, unwind, and catch some great live music."
The main stage is situated at the far end of the resort's Sunset Deck area — a loungy patio and yard behind the main hotel with a beachy tiki bar vibe, replete with grand views of the big bridge, downtown's skyline, and the bustle of activity in and around the harbor.
Party at the Point first began at this spot in 2000. Ear For Music has been a partner with the event since the beginning along with the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina and the Apex radio group. Last year, the series underwent a name change.
"We started doing Rockin' on the Point so we could start branding it better, and do more events, like 'Oysters on the Point' and stuff like that," says Lamble. "We're on our ninth year, and we're rolling into our tenth. We're definitely excited about this year's lineup."
Lamble has lived in Mt. Pleasant since 1993. An avid music fan, he cut his teeth on the local music scene working as the manager at his dad's old record store, Tunes Discs & Tapes, and worked as the booking guy at the old downtown hot-spot nightclub Acme Bar from 1994-'96. He founded his own Ear For Music booking agency in 1997 and soon after became the head talent buyer for the Wild Wing Café, handling the band schedules and gig details for 18 Wild Wing venues in the Southeast.
In 2006 and 2007, he collaborated with Riddick Lynch (of Shoreline Productions), Rick Jones (of Fish Bait Marketing), and others on the all-day, multiple-stage ChazzFest on Daniel Island.
This year's Rockin' on the Point boasts a few upgrades, offering free parking and a golf cart shuttle service. They've expanded the number of bar stations scattered across the deck and courtyard, and there are more toilet facilities near the front doors as well.
"We're also going to have some great drink specials this year," adds Lamble. "Plus, we're allowing patrons to recycle their drink tickets, so that they can bring unused tickets back and use them again."
This Friday, popular groove-rock singer/guitarist Zack Deputy (from the Hilton Head scene) hits the main stage. Upcoming events feature a pretty wide array of acts, including Who's Bad, Cravin' Melon, Simplified, Virginia Coalition, and the Tams. Local bands on this season's schedule include Sol Driven Train, Milhouse, Uncle Mingo, Soul Fish, Baby Fat, Spunjwurthi, Occasional Milkshake, East Coast Party Band, Playlist, Sadler Vaden (of Leslie), and Plane Jane.
"One of my goals is to bring some continuity to the musical lineup, and bring in some bands who bring their own unique styles to the shows," says Lamble. "The Wild Wing keeps me busy, and it's a great outlet for regional bands to come through and get in front of some faces, but I especially look forward to working on Rockin' on the Point every year. Everyone enjoys it, and that's the whole point."