FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — Logan’s, a restaurant and event venue in Freeport has been a live music staple in the community for years but a renewed focus on independent country music has the bar selling out concerts.
“We will always support local musicians but, without charging a cover, we were struggling to cover the cost of the bands and pulling in less than 100 people. We started booking national touring acts, with loyal fans, and charging a ticket price. We’ve been selling out shows to tourists” said Logan’s owner, Michelle Magee.
On average, over 80% of Logan’s attendees, for these shows, are from outside Stephenson County. Some of these attendees have traveled from as far as Kentucky, Michigan, and Kansas. “Folks like me will travel pretty far to see their favorite musicians” said Danielle Rogers, a volunteer music promoter who is helping Magee book these bands.
“I often drive into Chicago to see shows but will drive up to 10 hours for a good line up and that’s not uncommon. Having a venue in our backyard hosting these musicians means I don’t have to drive as far and we can pull in other fans to visit Freeport.”
Rogers is part of a group of Illinois independent country music advocates called “Red Dirt IL.” The group helps venues book and promote shows by using a network of musicians and fans. “We’ll even help sell merchandise or run will call if it’s needed,” she added.
Magee currently has four of these shows booked for 2019 and plans on adding more. The first is Josh Morningstar and Craig Gerdes, March 8th.
On March 15th, they’ll host Porter Union who just appeared on the USA Network’s show, Real Country.
Country music legend, Billy Don Burns, makes his Logan’s debut on April 2nd and Sunny Sweeney will be back on April 25th.
Tickets for these shows are available at www.logansfreeport.com/entertainment and most shows offer VIP meet and greets for the serious fans.
“At Logan’s our slogan is ‘where community is number one and customers become family’ and these shows are a perfect fit for us because we’re helping the community and becoming a part of the national red dirt family” said Magee.