Nelson at Mayfest

The music group Nelson rocked the crowd on the main stage at Mayfest on Main. Photo by Katie Powell

Thousands of people made the treck to North Myrtle Beach’s Main Street for the 14th annual Mayfest on Main festival on Saturday.

Around 15,000 were expected to attend.

Dozens of craft vendors lined the streets, selling everything from pork skins to surfboard tables to clocks made with megalodon teeth instead of numbers.

Two stages were set up in Main Street facing each other, with music beginning at 10 a.m. with Gary Lowder and the Smokin’ Hot on the community stage near the Ocean Drive Barber Shop.

Around 12:30 p.m., the piercing electric guitars of Nelson kicked off the music on the main stage set up in The Horseshoe. The band, popular in the 80s and 90s, played some of their hits, as well as a couple songs by the Nelson brothers’ dad, Ricky Nelson.  

New Bern, North Carolinian Beth Sutton was visiting for the weekend, and was at the festival with her friend and Myrtle Beach resident Sloan Maclin. 

“We just saw Nelson,” said Sutton. “And I grew up in the 80s, so they had their big hit when I was in high school. The “Love and Affection,” they just sang it.”

Saturday was the first Mayfest for the two friends. 

“I think it’s fantastic,” Maclin said. “It’s well-attended, but it’s spread out so people aren’t right on top of each other. I think it’s a great thing North Myrtle Beach puts together.” 

Other music acts included Mark McKinney & Company and Blue Monday. 

The New Orleans-based Cowboy Mouth gave a particularly high-energy performance, with drummer and lead singer Fred LeBlanc constantly urging the crowd to clap their hands to “give [them] some rhythm.”

As is tradition, most of the crowd surrounding the stage threw red spoons at LeBlanc during the song “Everybody Loves Jill.” 

The barefoot LeBlanc at one point stopped the concert and good-naturedly began flipping over the folding chairs set out near the stage in an effort to get more people on their feet. 

At 4 p.m. David Victor was scheduled to close out the fest by singing the hits of Boston and Styx.

“The music’s great and the price is right,” Maclin said before the Cowboy Mouth concert. “We’re going to stay out here until we get hot.”


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