Harvester Performance Center Opens

Rocky Mount, VA - After months of planning, work and money the Harvester Performance Center, in Rocky Mount, is set to open Friday.

Developers hope it will become one of the region's premiere music venues.

Now the question is will this $2.6 million gamble pay off?

"Been needing something like this for a long time," said longtime resident, Cisro Perdue.

Perdue cannot wait to see the newest thing in town when it's in full swing. As a boy this 79 year old remembers the building well.

"I remember when it was built. And the old Coca-Cola place over there. I was there with my Daddy when I was five and I watched them make Coca-Colas," said Perdue.

Times have changed. The Coca-Cola comes in plastic bottles now and the inside of the old hardware building is now a top notch music venue.

From the dressing room and green room to the elevator that lets you out on stage; the man behind it all, Gary Jackson, says it is sustainable.

"Absolutely. Absolutely. We've got some incredible shows coming up. Some of them I can't announce yet because the tours haven't been announced but we've got world class music coming to Rocky Mount, Virginia," said Jackson.

Dozens of acts booked.; many big names like Indigo Girls.

Many different styles.

Even something for a 79-year old.

"Oh yeah, yeah... I know Bill Anderson. I know him. I might come see that show," said Perdue.

Which is the key: Build a regional audience with quality music people will drive to hear.

The rest hopefully falling in place for an anxious community waiting to see how it works.

"Some people says it won't work. Some people says it will. Some people say they spent too much money. Some people say it's going to bring money in so it goes both ways I reckon (laughs). But we'll see about that," said Perdue.

Town leaders are banking on the success of the Harvester Performance Center and say new businesses are already beginning to sprout up around it.

After grants and donations, the current bill to tax payers, on the mostly volunteer-run center, is just over a million dollars.

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