The Walkerton Kinsmen Club is hoping to fill the Walkerton Jail this fall.
Tickets for Jailhouse Rock, a unique 10-hour concert set for Saturday, Sept. 15 inside the walled courtyard of the jail, are now on sale.
“Come and spend the day in jail with us,” said Kinsmen member Wayne Holman. “We’re going to have a great time, and we’re going to be raising money for a terrific cause.”
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Walkerton & District Hospital Foundation, which funds the purchase of critical equipment for the local hospital.
Jailhouse Rock will feature eight live bands performing everything from rock to alternative to country.
Thunderstruck, tribute to AC/DC, is headlining the concert along with The Man in Black, a tribute to Johnny Cash and June Carter. The event will also include a special tribute to Elvis, popular bands SuperstacK and Broken Caliber, and local talents Katie Eltink & Let’s Ride, and Chris Yenney.
“This line-up is going to put on an amazing show. Nobody is going to leave the concert disappointed,” said Holman.
Early bird tickets are now available for $35 each at various Walkerton businesses including Grey-Bruce Interiors and Speedy Tax & Bookkeeping. After Aug. 11 the price goes up to $40.
“Tickets are selling quickly because this is such a unique event. The venue is different, the bands are drawing attention, and people are catching on that this is going to be an once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Holman.
Several weeks ago, the County of Bruce gave the Kinsmen Club permission to use the courtyard of the jail, which closed last December amidst much controversy. Since then, the volunteer organizers have been approaching businesses and organizations for sponsorships to help fund the concert.
“We’ve had a very positive response so far but we do need more support,” noted Holman.
Joe Rys of the hospital foundation said he’s thrilled the Kinsmen Club has chosen the foundation to receive any proceeds realized from the concert.
“This event is going to be nothing like anything the people in this area have seen before,” said Rys. “By having the concert at the jail and by showing everyone a good time inside this historic facility, we hope the sting of the closure will be lessened.”
The Walkerton Jail was built in 1866. One of its most famous inmates was Mickey MacArthur, who was raised in the Walkerton/Paisley area. A well-known escape artist and master of disguise, MacArthur was known for breaking out of jail at least five times including in Walkerton, Toronto and Kingston.
The Walkerton facility is now owned by the county, and the Jailhouse Rock concert will be the first opportunity for members of the public to see inside its 145-year-old walls.
More details about the event, including videos of the performers, are available at www.jailhouserock.ca.