The entrance to the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day has changed this year, and one of the reasons is increased traffic that may be generated by the Tween Brands concert.
The concert features Big Time Rush, a hit television band featured in the Nickelodeon television series of the same name; Greyson Chance, a 13-year-old singer and pianist from Oklahoma who was discovered on YouTube; and New Albany’s own New Hollow, a trio of local teenagers.
“We’re expecting a large turnout partly because of the concert,” said Abigail Wexner, founder of the event.
The New Albany Classic is Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Wexner estate in New Albany. Wexner said 15,000 people usually attend the event.
The former entrance to the New Albany Classic was off Kitzmiller Road. Nicolette Jaworski, Wexner’s personal assistant, said the new entrance is accessed from Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, one-quarter mile south of Dublin-Granville Road. She said the new entrance should ease the flow of traffic.
New Hollow performed at the New Albany Classic last year. The band formed when the three members — Michael “Mick” Clouse, Evan West and Chad Blashford — were New Albany High School students. They now are enrolled in ECOT, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, to free up scheduling for performances.
In 2010, they signed a partnership with Justice, a clothing company based in New Albany that is marketed to girls ages 7 to 14. The 2010 New Albany Classic was one of their first major performances.
The band members are excited to perform in New Albany in front of family and friends for the second year in a row.
“It is satisfying to play anywhere but doubly so to play here in New Albany,” Blashford said.
“It’s an honor to be invited back and I’m really excited to play in front of our friends and family and show them how much we’ve grown,” West said.
When asked if they miss their former lives, Clouse said, “At heart we are the same kids that attended New Albany Middle School and high school, so naturally we miss our friends, teachers and the social aspect of the public school experience, but our online school ECOT has been so helpful for our new life on the road. We discussed with our parents the sacrifices that we would all have to make, and in the end, we made the decision to pursue our dream. Our schedule does keep us in rehearsal and on the road, so we take advantage of every opportunity we get, to hang out with our family and friends.”
West said they sometimes miss home, but “you have to grow up someday. We just started a little earlier than most.”
Clouse said the band is fortunate to have a strong support system that allows them to focus on music and school while the business side is handled for them.
“The best part for us is playing a show with a band that we used to buy tickets to see, and looking out into the crowd and seeing fans sing our songs with us,” he said. “Our fans are the best.”
Blashford and West said they are happy to do something they love.
“The best part is doing what you love,” West said.
He said the worst part of the business is all the traveling.
“The worst is not being able to see friends and family on a more regular basis,” he said.
For Blashford, the most difficult part of the business is “not always knowing what’s coming up next.”
Clouse said the band will tour again this fall.
“We will be back out on the road this fall,” he said. “We are waiting right now to announce which tour.”