CLEAR LAKE | The Surf Ballroom & Museum has announced the artists who are scheduled to appear at the 2015 Winter Dance Party scheduled for Jan. 28-31.
“We are extremely pleased to present this year’s lineup, featuring a combination of fan favorites and artists who are new to our event,” said Surf board President Jeff Nicholas. “Former teen idol Frankie Avalon is a first-time performer during the Winter Dance Party and having him here is sure to create a very memorable show for our fans."
Thursday night features Lou Christie and Bill Haley Jr. and The Comets, who will also be making their first Surf Ballroom Winter Dance Party appearances. Though he was a successful singer-songwriter in the 1950s, Christie forever embedded himself and his uniquely talented voice into America's consciousness with his No. 1 multi-million selling success, "Lightning Strikes," in 1966.
Bill Haley Jr. and the Comets will bring many hits recorded in the early and mid-1950s by the legendary group to the Surf’s historic stage.
Additional performers on Thursday include original 1959 Winter Dance Party guitarist Tommy Allsup along with The Whitesidewalls.
Friday night’s Sock Hop, traditionally known as The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, will feature Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, L.A. Party Dolls and Cadillac Casanovas.
"The Friday night Sock Hop has always been a fun night for fans to dance to the songs they remember best from the era,” said event producer Shane Cooney. “That tradition continues with our Friday evening entertainment lineup.
"In addition, this year’s Sock Hop will feature special guest Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, who made a fast impression on our guests when they first performed here in 2012," Cooney added. "This year, they plan to pay tribute to the late Ritchie Valens, who has been a tremendous influence upon their musical direction."
Avalon will headline the “Three Stars Memorial Concert” on Saturday night.
“We are thrilled to have Frankie Avalon involved in our 2015 event. As one of the replacement headliners during the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour, he has strong ties to the Winter Dance Party story we work hard to promote,” said Laurie Lietz, Surf Ballroom executive director.
Avalon is also celebrated as an authentic 1950s recording artist, producing 31 Billboard hits between 1958 and 1962. One of his most renowned hits, "Venus," spent five weeks at No. 1 in 1959.
Additional performers on Saturday evening will include The Crystals, who appeared during the 1996 and 2002 Winter Dance Party events; Brian Hyland, who appeared in 2001 and 2009; and John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party, which will return to bring an authentic and heartfelt tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson during the Three Stars Finale at the conclusion of the event.
Saturday’s show will also feature the legacy of Valens as Chris Montez returns to perform and pay tribute once again on the very last stage that Valens played.
“Many artists ask for the opportunity to come to the Surf to perform the music that Buddy, Bopper or Ritchie inspired them to play, along with some of the hits that inspired them," Nicholas said. "Although less of a dance than Thursday and Friday nights, Saturday’s Three Stars Memorial Concert is designed to tell the story of the ongoing legacies and impacts of the performers on the 1959 Winter Dance Party Tour."
Advance tickets for the 2015 event will be sold for $110 each and are valid for the evenings of Thursday, Jan. 29, through Saturday, Jan. 31. Both tickets and seating for the event will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Seating for the event is priced at $80 for a 4-person booth, $120 for a 6-person booth and $200 for a table which seats 10 people. You must purchase a minimum of 4 tickets to reserve a 4-person booth, 6 tickets to reserve a 6-person booth and 10 tickets to reserve a 10-person table on the floor. The booths and tables will be reserved for all three evenings of entertainment.
Tickets for the event are non-refundable and the entertainment lineup is subject to change. Tickets and seating reservations may be purchased online at the Surf Ballroom’s website (www.surfballroom.com) or by calling the Surf’s box office at 641-357-6151 beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 20. Ticket orders and seating reservations are not accepted through the mail.
A very limited quantity of VIP tickets will also be available for $310 each. Each VIP ticket will include admission to all Surf Ballroom-sponsored events that weekend including nightly entertainment and seating in the VIP bar area Jan. 28-31.