It’s officially “hip to be square” in the city of Key West. Earlier this week Two Friends Patio and Homes for Vets Inc. solidified the big news—well, to be exact, they signed Huey Lewis and the News.
The Grammy Award winning band will headline this year’s Keystock Music Festival at the Truman Waterfront on April 2. And with over 30 million albums sold worldwide, several Record of the Year awards, Multi-Platinum albums, a Grammy and a library full of legendary rock n’ roll songs; Huey Lewis and the News will certainly be one of the biggest acts to ever play the Southernmost City.
“Since we bought Two Friends, Maura and I have added more and more entertainment,” said Two Friends Patio’s and co-event organizer Danny Hughes. “We feel that live music is an integral part of the fabric of Key West.”
Keystock originated with event organizer Joe Cleghorn, who teamed up with his good pal Howard Livingston to throw entertaining concerts at Cleghorn’s Lazy Lakes RV Park several years back. However, as the popularity and A-List acts continued to grow, the event relocated to the Truman Waterfront to accommodate the demand.
“Joe Cleghorn and the people at Lazy Lakes have done a remarkable job with Keystock,” said Danny Hughes. “And during our many visits, we talked about how to get bigger and better acts to think of Key West as a destination venue.”
After three successful Keystock Music Fests, Huey Lewis and the News will follow other legendary bands such as Three Dog Night, The Doobie Brothers and Grand Funk Railroad. All of those concerts admitted at least 3,000 ticket holders and benefited Homes for Vets, Inc.—a non-profit created to assist veterans with housing as they acclimate back into society.
“I’m passionate about the men and women who sacrifice for this country,” said Cleghorn. We’ve had men and women overseas for a long time now and it’s too easy for many us to forget they are there. That’s why it’s so important we do everything we can to help them out.”
For Cleghorn, this year’s concert is meaningful beyond his fervent commitment to the men and women in uniform. It is symbol of healing. In 2015 Cleghorn lost several people close to his heart, along with suffering a physical injury that would have been enough to cause many to take a break. Still, the ever-passionate philanthropist and music lover never doubted there would be a fourth Keystock.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Joe Cleghorn. “A lot of people think I do all the work. The truth is Dave McGlathery and Mary Myers [Cleghorn’s partners at Lazy Lakes] are the soul of this thing. I love those two and without them none of this would be possible. Now you add Danny and Maura [Two Friends Patio] and this thing is going to be something special.”
Keystock will continue to donate portions of the proceeds to Homes for Vets, while the Key West Rotary and other community organizations will benefit from liquor and food sales. However, this year’s show signifies a special inauguration, as the concert will take place on the exact grounds of the proposed amphitheater at Truman Waterfront.
“With the approval of the amphitheater, Joe, Maura and I thought, ‘So…let’s roll the dice and bring someone really special to Keystock,’” said Danny Hughes. “So the Stars lined up, Huey Lewis wants to play here, it all happens right after Oceanfest and on the same weekend as the Blue Angels. It’s going to be a helluva weekend.”
In addition, ticket sales for Keystock are expected to surpass the 4,000 mark, with some speculating the number of attendees could reach beyond 6,000. Not only does the Huey Lewis concert coincide with a Naval Airshow on April 2, it will share the Truman Waterfront grounds with MOTE Marine’s 7TH Florida Keys Ocean Festival.
“We’re thrilled to team up with Keystock to create an amazing day and weekend here in the Keys,” said MOTE’s Jason Wolf. “We have the Tuna Trot, the Blue Angels, Ocean Fest and Huey Lewis. You’ve got land, air, sea and music…what else could you ask for?”
Ocean Fest already boasts close to 8,000 event goers, which means many of those will spill over to Keystock. In fact, Howard Livingston and the MM 24 Band, which typically open Keystock, will be the closing act at Ocean Fest.
“We’ll wrap up with Howard and give fans plenty of time to walk over to Keystock,” said Wolf. “How cool will it be to watch two amazing acts on two separate stages—all within a few steps from one another. It will truly be a festival atmosphere.”
Although other details for Keystock are still being ironed out, tickets will go on sale this weekend, including VIP seating and general admission. Fans can visit www.keystix.com for general admission, or call 305-745-1079 for VIP and other preferred seating. As of now, Huey Lewis and the News are expected to play at 7:30 p.m. However, the Keys Weekly will continue to provide updates on Ocean Fest and Keystock as the events draw near.