Hundreds poured onto the lawn in front of Tupelo City Hall, armed with lawn chairs and blankets, to welcome two Oxford bands, the Kudzu Kings and Mayhem String Band. The summer music series, sponsored by the Downtown Main Street Association and funded by the municipal Quality of Life Committee, will continue with two more concerts in August and September.
"Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable," said Chris Root, one of the organizers of the event. He could barely catch his breath as he took beer orders. "We knew it had the potential to do this, and we're ecstatic that it did."
Root said the funding for the third concert, slated for September, was up in the air, but he said he was sure by the turnout at Thursday's concert that the money will be there for the September show.
Mayor Jack Reed Jr. welcomed the audience before Mayhem String Band performed, and he spoke about his hope for the series' future.
"I hope you can say, 25 years from now, that you were at the first concert on July 16, 2009," he said.
Music fans Joyce and Don Hight of Tupelo enjoyed the sounds from their matching lawn chairs.
"We think it's great," Don said. "I hope Tupelo supports this. I really do."
The bands enjoyed themselves, too.
"I'm having a ball. Are y'all having a ball? Ain't we all having a ball?" said J.T. Lack, a banjo player for the Mayhem String Band.
The Kudzu Kings' Tate Moore echoed Lack.
"Man, we're excited to play here," he said. "Thank you for having us."
No headliners have been announced for either the August or September shows, but Root said negotiations are under way.
According to the Down on Main Street Facebook page, the next two concerts will be Aug. 20 and Sept. 17.