Live at Five Returns to the Bluff

Published 11:00 am Sunday, October 2, 2022

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By Jennie Guido

Since the Fall of 2020, Friday evenings in the fall and spring have had one thing in common on the Bluff – Live at Five. The brainchild of Sarah Lindsey Laukhuff (Natchez native and music connoisseur), this kick off to the weekend is a way to come together, relax, and enjoy the city we call home.

“I read a great quote that kind of sums up my feelings for Live at Five as a whole,” Laukhuff shared. “Rob Sheffield said, ‘But bringing people together is what music has always done best.’”

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It’s no easy task to put on a free show for the public four or five Fridays, twice a year, and during our city’s busiest seasons. “Between finding the artists, soliciting sponsors, marketing, promoting, graphic design, and merchandise, there’s only one reason why I do it. Because I love it,” Laukhuff said. “When living in other cities for periods of time, the one event I’d always attend would be a Live at Five.

“Sitting in a chair or on a blanket in the grass, drinking a beverage, enjoying the beautiful weather with the sun shining with great music and even better friends is my idea of bliss. It makes you forget your week and be in the present.”

And in 2020, who didn’t need a chance to debrief with friends on the Bluff while listening to live music?

“The other side is the economic value it has to the surrounding businesses,” Laukhuff added. “While you’re enjoying the music, you get thirsty or hungry. So you walk to one of the various restaurants or watering holes and grab something to eat or drink and bring it back to your spot. Maybe you run into a bunch of friends and you go to dinner after. Every dollar spent benefits not only the businesses but also the city with the taxes collected from each sale.

“Another side is the tourism aspect. When visitors see locals enjoying the concert series, that makes Natchez a happening place. In the Spring, we had a motorcoach of visitors stop while on the way either to Rosalie or Under the Hill and join us. My heart about leapt from my chest. It gives visitors something to do that is of no cost to them but added value to their visit.”

This Fall’s lineup is one to keep your toes tapping and you coming back week after week. This past Friday, listeners were entertained by Karma and the Killjoys, a piano rock band out of Baton Rouge. In the weeks to come, you will get to hear Big Al & the Heavyweights, kick off Balloon Race weekend with Chad Wesley that Thursday night, enjoy Black Cabbage the following Friday, and round out the season with a little R&B and Mira.Got.Soul.

“I’d like to think events like Live at Five make Natchez a more enjoyable place to live for families,” Laukhuff added. “Not everyone wants to go to a bar and pay a cover to listen to music. Then there’s the dilemma of finding a babysitter, getting dinner beforehand, and finding some friends who can work out their schedules, too.

“However, with Live at Five, you can bring your children, let them run and burn off that excited weekend energy, and parents can sit and enjoy good friends and great music on a Friday afternoon.”