If you follow us on Facebook, odds are that you’ve seen a few of our videos. Namely, the ones we shot with Chart-Topping Country Singer, Jason Brown, as part of his Along the Way Tour Series. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, you can watch them here and here.
The Along the Way Tour with Jason Brown was set to be one of the biggest events that Humboldt, Iowa had ever seen. With plans to shut down 2 full blocks of Sumner Avenue, performances slated to take place on a huge, new, never before seen stage, video boards displaying all local sponsors, local food trucks and vendors, and so much more, it was the talk of the town for months on end. Even better still was that it was taking place on the same day as our annual Arts Festival. This meant that families were coming from far and wide to support their town, their Arts Festival, and their newly reopened Non-Profit, First-Run Cinema. With hundreds (or thousands) of combined hours of work poured into this event over the course of six or more months, dozens of local businesses and sponsors involved, and cameras rolling, we all patiently waited for the gates to open at 4pm on June 15th, 2019. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans.
According to Weather.Gov, on June 15th of 2019, Severe Thunderstorms tracked all across Eastern Iowa. Algona, Spencer, Fort Dodge, Mason City, Des Moines, and of course, Humboldt, Iowa, all got hit hard. With torrential downpours, non-stop lightning strikes, bouts of hail, and 30-50 mph winds in several of the listed areas that hit us out of nowhere, we had no choice but to move the show indoors.
We had crews, volunteers, and staff members scrambling to move equipment inside during these horrific storms. We saw people soaked to the bone still smiling and helping us shift to our Plan B. Our supporters. Our town. Our people.
After several hours of rearranging, replanning, revamping, and finally just deciding to go with the flow, we were able to move our concert indoors to Gordy’s at Rustix thanks to the generosity and quick thinking of the restaurant owner, Missy Weeks.
At 7pm, when the doors finally opened to up and coming Country Artist, Neil Hewitt, the sky was starting to clear up and the sun was struggling to shine. Lines for the event wrapped around the block. Our supporters came out in droves to ensure that this Fundraiser was successful, despite the weather.
Jason Brown continued to keep spirits high despite the elbow to elbow crowds as he played a mix of original music and country fan classic favorites. When referencing the unfortunate series of weather related events that put an end to his planned Sumner Avenue Shutdown, Jason was quick to remind us all that we occasionally have to Adapt, Overcome, and Improvise. With this cheery quip and his Megawatt smile, Jason put the crowds at ease.
By the night’s end, Jason Brown had played to the people of Humboldt for upwards of four hours. In this time, thanks to the generosity of concert goers, movie patron regulars, and supportive businesses, we were able to raise over $50,000 for the Humota Theater.
Unfortunately, due to the rain and the limited amount of space we had to work with in the end, we were not able to film Jason Brown’s Benefit Concert for the Humota Theater. However, Photos can be viewed on our Social Media accounts listed under @HumotaTheater.
Since our first Along the Way Tour video was shot, a lot of work has gone into making the Humota Theater what it is today. For that reason, we have plans to film a small update in the very near future showing our supporters, community members, and all who have been invested in this project since day 1, exactly what we have been able to do with their support throughout this past year.
The gratitude that we feel towards not only Humboldt County, but also the surrounding communities who helped us rally together to save this business, is immeasurable. Without people like you, our supporters, standing behind us from the very beginning, we know without a doubt that none of this would have been possible. For that, we sincerely thank you.
Because of you, we hope to be able to serve the people of Humboldt County and surrounding areas for another 90+ years.
Our Sincerest Gratitude,
The Humota Crew