By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times
Before he was traveling the globe hosting Christian rock concerts, Hanceville native Shane Quick spent his early 20’s working in 130-degree-heat at the local Louisiana Pacific saw mill. Working 12 hours shifts, watching wood ride by on a conveyor belt, it was too loud to do much else — so he thought.
He thought about his plans to became a promoter, and how he wanted his life filled with music instead of saw dust. After nine years, at the prodding of a friend’s urging (”Stop talking about it and actually do it,” Quick remembered), he emptied his savings account and decided to give it a shot.
“He was right,” Quick said at the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon Friday afternoon. “I had become so good at talking about it, and hardly any good at doing what I was called to do.”
The only problem? That near-decade at the mill only afforded Quick $5,000 to get started, so he set out to host his first concert. Lucky for him, he apparently has a great ear for talent.
“After nine years at the mill, I only saved $5,000, and that’s pretty horrible, by the way,” he joked. “I took that, and started looking at some bands I wanted to invest in. So I booked this brand new band, that just had a song on the radio, and booked them in September for a show in January. Now, in the time in between, Casting Crowns went on to sell a million records, and in one day my little company made more money than I’d make in a year at the saw mill. God was showing me he wanted to use me, if I would work hard and do things with passion for a reason.”
Quick hasn’t looked back since, and in addition to hosting the annual YouthQuake Christian music concert in Cullman each year, he has also helped shepherd the new Rock the South festival, which will be hosted by country artist Sara Evans.
“I believe now, for Cullman, it’s time for us to start doing things,” he said. “We’re in a great city, we’re in a great location, and that’s why I want to do Rock the South.”
The city co-hosted the music festival last year as a one-year anniversary celebration for rebuilding in the wake of the Aril, 2011 tornadoes that shredded the area. The event drew more than 15,000 people to the area, which attracted the attention of Evans, and officials say this year’s festival could be even bigger.
“I had an idea for a long time about Rock the South, but I wanted to make sure it had a reason,” Quick said. “After April, 2011, when those tornadoes buzzed through here, we had a reason to celebrate, with the recovery. We have a city that has gotten behind us, with how the mayor and council have championed this event.”
Quick noted that he’s grown up in Cullman, and understands the values of the community, and promised the event would be something the people of Cullman County will be proud to host.
“We’re going to make sure it’s not a nasty, beer-brawling whatever -- it’s a great family event,” he said. “The Duck Dynasty guys are coming, Sara Evans and Jay Barker, and The Band Perry, and great bands you can bring your family to. We believe this can be the Woodstock of country music, and it’ll be right here in Cullman, Alabama. We’re so excited tens of thousands of people are going to see our community in a new and exciting way.”
The second annual Rock the South is set for June 21-22 at Heritage Park. Hosted by country artist Sara Evans, the event will feature headliners Hank Williams, Jr., The Band Perry, Gregg Allman, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and Jamey Johnson. Willie Robertson, star of A&E’s hit series Duck Dynasty, will also be at the event to meet and greet fans.
Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.