San Marcos Plaza Park kicked off its Keep San Marcos Beautiful Spring Concert Series April 9 with The Spazmatics, an Austin-based ‘80s cover band.
The Keep San Marcos Beautiful Spring Concert Series is used to promote litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification, said Amy Kirwin, solid waste program coordinator.
“We’re hoping to teach kids and their parents how to be more sustainable about law and energy conservation and environmental stewardship,” Kirwin said.
During the intermission, audience members were asked to participate in an environmental quiz to promote awareness.
“My goal and mission is to encourage landfill diversion, so this is also a venue to do some educational outreach—but not lecture to people, but to do it in a fun and interactive way,” Kirwin said.
Victoria Nelson, audience member, said The Spazmatics were able to bring the community together. She said the band interacted with audience members throughout the performance.
“I’ve danced with strangers the whole night because of them,” Nelson said. “I really feel like I’m reliving the ‘80s when watching them.”
Joseph Gutierrez, audience member, said the band brought locals out while educating and raising environmental awareness.
“My kids got a lot from the quiz game,” Gutierrez said. “And I grew up in the ‘80s, so it’s a good way for them to learn something and a good way for me to enjoy myself for a night.”
The concert series will showcase a different artist or band every Thursday in April, Kirwin said. She said the series will feature different genres of music each week to reach every part of the community.
“The concert brings people out and together in the community,” Kirwin said. “And for each one being a different kind of concert, hopefully we’ll get a variety of people at each show, and then we’ll be able to hit different parts of the community and hopefully educate them as well.”
The band’s energy attracted ‘80s fans and those who may not be familiar with the decade, Gutierrez said.
“You don’t have to like cover bands or even know any of the songs they’re playing to have fun,” Gutierrez said. “Once you see everyone around you dancing and singing, you want to go ahead and be a part of the fun.”
The Spazmatics are known throughout the San Marcos community, Kirwin said. In past years, local bands played during the concert series. Attendance has gone up to 1,200 participants since officials began contracting known bands like The Spazmatics.
“In the past it had been local, not-really-known bands,” Kirwin said. “But we decided to turn it up a notch in the last couple of years, and it definitely brought out a greater part of the community.”
Hannah Andrews, audience member and San Marcos resident, said the message of keeping San Marcos clean remained prevalent throughout the night.
“The Spazmatics is probably the best way to get everyone out here,” Andrews said. “But you still get educated about the environment. San Marcos is beautiful, and at the end of the day it is up to the community to maintain it.”