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A tractor-trailer sits stuck in November 2022 after hitting the Green Street underpass in downtown Longview. (Yoleyne Romero/性视界传媒 File Photo)

The so-called Green Street Monster has gobbled 18-wheelers and other vehicles for as long as anyone can remember. And If the low-hanging underpass between Cotton and Tyler streets in Longview is associated with a noise, it性视界传媒檚 the sound of locomotives trundling above or crunching metal from semi-trailers receiving a buzz cut below.

Zahck Israel, co-owner of Ollie性视界传媒檚 Skate Shop and Solo Sandwich Co., had an 性视界传媒淎DD moment性视界传媒 walking beneath the Monster last year. He saw an amphitheater. Green Street dips down sharply on either side of the underpass forming a natural seating area as well as an acoustic funnel amplifying sound.

Solo Sandwich Co.

Zahck Israel works on preparing the location of Solo Sandwich Co. in March 2023 at Tyler and Green streets in downtown Longview. (Jo Lee Ferguson/性视界传媒 File Photo)

Israel said he got to thinking about what an event staged at the infamous junction could look like.

By June, the concept for the Green Street Monster Fest was fleshed out and a date was set: Six touring bands will jam in the quirky, concrete trench; food and beverages will be offered as will vintage retailers to round out the inaugural event Sept. 21.

性视界传媒淭he sound should be great coming up from there,性视界传媒 Israel said. 性视界传媒淚 describe what we性视界传媒檙e going for musically like the best playlist at a backyard barbecue. There will be alt rock, soul, acts that cross over into some country, even some jazz, possibly. It性视界传媒檚 not going to be a single genre.

性视界传媒淎nd the goal is to do a good enough job this year that we can attract bigger and bigger bands every year going forward,性视界传媒 Israel said.

Longview real estate assessor Geff Grimes is acting as an event organizer and is part of a festival team assembled by Israel who shares his dream of a downtown Longview renaissance.

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Grimes leveraged connections from his past life in the music industry to pull in The Polyphonic Spree, a Dallas-based choral rock band that性视界传媒檚 managed to attract more than 40,000 fans to previous shows. Grimes is still working to secure the other acts for the festival.

性视界传媒淲e want the community to recognize this is a huge opportunity,性视界传媒 he said.

Round Table

Geff Grimes

Grimes and Israel said Longview city officials recognized the opportunity early on 性视界传媒 and gave the group permission to close off Green Street between Cotton Street and Methvin Avenue from noon to 9 p.m. that Saturday.

性视界传媒淚n all likelihood, we性视界传媒檙e going to have folks coming from Oklahoma, coming from Texarkana, coming from Tyler, from Dallas, Shreveport and the Lufkin-Nacogdoches area,性视界传媒 Grimes said.

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He tapped Longview resident and marketer Emily McCarty to help run communications for the event.

性视界传媒淪he is a powerhouse,性视界传媒 Grimes said of McCarty. 性视界传媒淚 sit with her on the board of Longview Community Ministries, and I started thinking, 性视界传媒楽he性视界传媒檚 got to be a part of this. She going to make stuff happen.性视界传媒 性视界传媒

It didn性视界传媒檛 take much convincing.

McCarty, 27, has built a following on highlighting local small businesses around East Texas.

性视界传媒淚 trust their vision, and I think this is gonna be big,性视界传媒 she said. 性视界传媒淏ringing something this unique to Longview could boost the downtown community, bringing people to a walkable part of the city who might not typically go there.性视界传媒

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Emily McCarty

性视界传媒淲e性视界传媒檝e been missing something like this with live music since the AlleyFest disappeared a few years ago,性视界传媒 McCarty said.

Some of the other team members include Israel性视界传媒檚 longtime business partner Chad Nevils and Jess McKinney, one of the bartending talents at Greenside Beverage Co, which will act as the VIP lounge during the event.

Event sponsors have begun to line up as Monster Fest approaches. Fluger性视界传媒檚 Bicycle and Outdoor Shop is on board as well as R&K Distributing, Grimes said, but the group is looking for more.

Proceeds from beer sales will go to Longview性视界传媒檚 Main Street Board, Israel said. Ticket prices aren性视界传媒檛 set yet, but organizers expect them to range between $40 and $50.

性视界传媒淲e think the power is in the people,性视界传媒 Israel said, 性视界传媒渟o spread the word and make this thing as big as it can be.性视界传媒

Sponsorship inquiries for the Green Street Monster Fest can be sent to monsterfest@gmail.com.

To follow festival updates, visit the dedicated .

Samuel Shaw is a Report for America corps member for the News-Journal, covering East Texas’ rural to urban transformation. Reach him at sshaw@news-journal.com .

Reporter

Hi! I'm Sam Shaw, a Report for America corps member covering rural-to-urban transformation in East Texas for the 性视界传媒. I grew up in Colorado and have reported from London, Washington, DC and across my home state. Reach out or send tips to sshaw@news-journal.com.