Laurens to Feature Major Headliners at July 3rd Celebration, Capital Cities and Better than Ezra

March 27, 2023

The City of Laurens announced Monday, March 27th, that the City’s annual Independence Day celebrations held on July 3, 2023, will feature not one, but two internationally known award-winning bands: Capital Cities and Better than Ezra.

Capital Cities’ breakout hit “Safe and Sound” rose to No. 1 on the US Alternative Songs chart September 2013, and reached No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 during the same time.  The band, led by Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian, won an MTV Video Music Award in 2013 and was nominated for a Grammy in 2014.

Better Than Ezra is best known for their 1993 multi-platinum album, “Deluxe” and their No. 1 single, “Good,” which topped the Billboard Modern Rock charts in 1995.  Better than Ezra claimed spots on Billboard’s “100 Greatest Alternative Songs of All Time” and “100 Greatest Alternative Artists of All Time” in 2018.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome these amazing bands to the City of Laurens,” said Mayor Nathan Senn.  “These are by far the biggest names in music our city has welcomed in quite some time, if not ever.  We’re proud that Laurens has earned statewide recognition for the fun, exciting ways we celebrate our nation’s birth, and we are looking forward to the best birthday party yet!”

In 2022, the City of Laurens received the Excellence on Main Street Award, the highest recognition in our state  awarded each year by Main Street South Carolina.  The honor was given in recognition of the “Laurens Lights the Night,” an innovative light and sound show featuring a dazzling projection of graphics onto the County’s iconic Courthouse.  This year, that courthouse is under renovation, so the city’s celebrations will have a different twist with a double-header of internationally acclaimed musicians.

Laurens’ Independence Day celebrations have also become a significant driver for economic growth. In 2021, a newly reimagined event welcomed 3,000 people to the city’s picturesque downtown. In 2022, 5,000 people attended, some from as far away as Georgia and North Carolina. This year, the city is preparing to welcome as 10,000 people from across the Upstate and beyond to hear Better than Ezra and Capital Cities.

In addition to the City of Laurens and Laurens County, the event will be brought to the public through the generosity of various sponsors.  The final list of sponsors will be released in advance of the event, but those interested in being featured as a sponsor for this exciting celebration are encouraged to contact Marketing and Grants Coordinator, Victoria Davich.  For those from across the City of Laurens and the Upstate who have already agreed to sponsor this event, the City of Laurens is truly grateful for their collaboration and support.

Laurens Police and Fire Departments will be coordinating to ensure the safety and security of attendees. The City is also coordinating with the Laurens County to prepare for and promote the event.

One new feature of the city’s celebrations this year will be a designated kid-friendly zone which will offer fun activities for little ones.  This area will also be designated as both a smoke-free and alcohol-free area. “We believe that celebrating our nation’s freedom is important for everyone in our community,” said Mayor Senn, “and we’re looking forward to making sure our youngest patriots are part of the fun!”

As in the past, in addition to the headliner performances, there will be plenty of food and dining options from local restaurants, food trucks, and other vendors on site.

Festivities will begin at 4:00 pm with Davidson Brass Band playing patriotic musical favorites, an essential part of any hometown Independence Day celebration! Then, the community will join together for a moving tribute to our veterans and all those who have honorably served our nation.  After that, the real fun begins when the headliners take the stage! The evening will conclude with an impressive fireworks display at 10:30 p.m.

“It is our mission to make sure everyone in Laurens and everyone who visits our city has a fun, safe, and enjoyable Independence Day celebration,” said Mayor Senn.  “This is just one of the special ways we come together as a vibrant, growing, and proud community.  We’re proud of our nation, we’re proud of our city, and we welcome you to come celebrate with us on July 3rd.”