The show will go on.
That's what Porterville Mayor Monte Reyes announced after the Porterville City Council approved the KJUG Concert series which begins at 7 p.m. tonight at Centennial Park. The concert will feature country stars Robyn Ottolini and Robyn Carter.
The council approved the concert series at its meeting on Tuesday. But the approval didn't come until after a lengthy discussion in which all four council members present — Reyes, Kellie Carrillo, Martha Flores and new member Lawana Tate expressed reservations about the process in which approval for the concert was sought. Council member Milt Stowe had announced at the previous council meeting he would be out of town.
Initially when council members were asked if they had any questions, Tate said she didn't have questions “just reservations.”
But in the end the four council members approved the concert series, giving the OK for tonight's concert. “The good news is the show still will go on,” Reyes said.
But only after the council approved the series on the condition the concerts will now be City of Porterville events. So now instead of the Porterville Chamber of Commerce partnering with KJUG to put on the series, it will now be the city partnering with KJUG to present the series.
“That's the only way I can see it being a possibility,” said Reyes about the concert series officially becoming a city event. So Reyes made the motion for that to happen, which led to the council unanimously approving Reyes' motion.
City staff did recommend to the council that it approve the concert. But the council was asked to approve the concert just two days before it would happen.
The concert had been publicized by the Porterville Chamber and KJUG and an article on the concert appeared in The Recorder before the council approved the event.
“It's unfortunate to note” the event was being publicized before council approval, said City Manager John Lollis in presenting the concert agenda item to the council.
Council members also noted they had little choice but the approve the concert in some manner with such short notice. “I feel put over a barrel,” Reyes said.
“I do feel like there will be a lot of families that are looking forward to this,” Carrillo said.
But the council members also expressed concerns about the process in which approval was sought, with Reyes stating a concern with the “laissez-faire attitude” that was taken.
Carrillo referred to “apparently confusion on the process to do an event of this magnitude.”
Lollis said normally there's 30-day notice to the city when requesting an event such as tonight's concert. Porterville Chamber Membership Coordinator Christina Clausen, who's also now handling the duties of former CEO Jessica Brackeen, who resigned, stated the first notice for tonight's concert was provided on July 1.
She added she reached out to city staff as far as the proper process was concerned and presented the application to the city for the event a week ago Monday. That's when the Chamber first publicized the concert. “I used it as a learning experience,” said Clausen about the process to request approval for the concert.
Lollis did note there's a learning curve with events resuming that were not happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We haven't done this in two years,” he said.
He said city staff will be able to handle the event, noting the city puts on events such as FreedomFest in which 10,000 people are in attendance. Tonight's concert is expected to bring 500 to 1,000 people. Still in putting on tonight's concert, Lollis said, “there are a lot of logistics involved.”
There will still be COVID protocols in place as there will be no VIP experience in which invited public will be able to meet and great with the artists. There will also be no vendors although it's planned for the Porterville Chamber to sell water.
Also not part of the initial request is a green room the city will have to set up for the artists. There will also be a change in street closures, which will include the normal closing of Main Street in front of City Hall across from Centennial Park.
Porterville Fire Chief Dave LaPere also recommended a cooling center be provided due to the heat. Lollis estimated the cost to the city for tonight's event would be $7,000, but that was based on being in collaboration with the Chamber before it officially became a city event.
OTTOLINI, CARTER FEATURED
E.M. Tharp Goldenstate Peterbilt is sponsoring the series which begins tonight at the Valley Strong Credit Union Stage with Robyn Ottolini and Shy Carter. Those attending the free concert are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Other sponsors of the concert include Port of Subs. For more details, visit KJUG.com.
Ottolini and Carter are both Warner Nashville recording artists and will be featured in the live show. Ottolini is known as the “Eminem of country music.” Ottolini's career took off with the viral TikTok hit “F-150.” She also signed with Warner Music Nashville in October, 2020.
Her hit “F-150” has made its way around TikTok, soundtracking more than 34,000 videos. She has also made it to No. 4 on the Spotify U.S. Viral 50 chart and No. 3 on Rolling Stone's all-genre Trending 25 chart.
She already has 16 million global streams to her name. Her “I'm Not Always Hilarious” EP earned her more than 1 million streams even before “F-150” went viral.
“When the world opens, we're coming out swinging,” said Ottolini about her upcoming live peformances. “And we're going to swing hard. It's about what the fans want and girls my age want honesty.”
Carter is a songwriter, record producer, rapper and singer. Among the performers he has written for include Meghan Trainor, Charlie Puth, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
He co-wrote Puth's double platinum hit “One Call Away” which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart. In 2009 he co-wrote “Someday” with Rob Thomas, which spent more than 40 weeks in the top 5 and went to No. 1 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart.
His collaboration with Sugarland, “Stuck Like Glue,” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 20 and became the 11th most downloaded country song of all time.
Carter also co-wrote Bully Currington's No. 1 hit “It Don't Hurt Like It Used To.” Others who Carter has worked with include Ashanti and Chingy.