(Matt Sanders ~ email@example.com)
The venue tried out the concept Friday night before the Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert concert, opening the Show Me Center's north patio starting at 5 p.m. for fans to enjoy warm weather. By 6 p.m., about 80 people had taken part in the patio party, where they were provided snacks, which were free, and draft beer, which was not.
Buford said he expects the venue to continue patio parties at upcoming concerts. Friday's show was "the perfect concert" to inaugurate the patio party, said Buford, as Bentley is known for his songs about party life.
"As more people hear about it, I think you're going to see it grow and grow," Buford said.
Bill and Becky Francis and Missy and Stan Rush of Jackson enjoyed the free snacks and a few beers at the patio party. Bill Francis was one of 10 qualifiers for a drawing hosted by radio station K103 FM in which one fan's name was drawn for front row tickets and backstage passes to the concert. In exchange, the winner had to have his head shaved.
Bill Francis didn't win -- Jim Christinsen, a heavy equipment operator from Perryville, Mo., received the head shave.
But Bill Francis and the others in his party said the patio party was a good way to start the evening.
Francis would have come for the chance at free front-row seats regardless, but "when they said there was some drinks and food, it was even better," he said.
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