Band that lost Uptown Friday Night gig lands new show at Local Craft Ale House

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 4:55 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - “A few weeks ago, we got an email from the Jaycee’s, and they said they were trying to gather information on the show to make sure they could fund it,” said Tony Bohenkamp, part of the dueling piano group Pianopalooza.

Bohenkamp’s band was one of five that were told they would no longer get a chance to play at the Cedar Rapids Ampitheatre as part of the Jaycee’s Uptown Friday Night event.

“When you get as many gigs as we do, you have to focus on the show that week,” he said. It was a shock to hear that one of our shows was gone within two weeks. Finding another place to play wouldn’t be easy.

In a press release, the Jaycees said the cancellation was due to several rumors spreading through the community, as well as low attendance and profitability. This news came a week as the organization said it was doing its investigation on the Uptown Friday Night Director, alleging funds were misused.

While Pianopalooza wasn’t happening this week, Bohenkamp found a place to share his music, Local Craft Ale House.

“With Uptown not being an option the rest of the year, I just thought it was great that Tony still had an opportunity to come to play a show in Cedar Rapids,” said Jason Wilkerson, owner of Local Craft Ale House.

Wilkerson has known Bohenkamp for 20-years. While he said he doesn’t have too many bands playing, he said being able to host Bohenkamp was something people needed after a rough year and a half in the pandemic.

“Uptown and Saturday farmers markets, those things affect the business,” he said. Not just the restaurants, but other folks as well. People trickle in before or after.”

Despite the sudden venue change, Bohenkamp said he was just excited to be able to share his passion with the people of Cedar Rapids.

“I was one of the people he thought of to provide entertainment that evening,” said Bohenkamp.

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