The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Romance rocks music festival

Newlyweds have first dance onstage with Firehouse.


Courtesy photo

Newlyweds Tina and Carlos Molina, center, are on stage with the band Firehouse after their first dance as a married couple.

CLOVIS — It was the "Love of a Lifetime" at Clovis Music Festival on Friday.

One lucky couple had the opportunity to share their first dance as husband and wife during the Firehouse performance of "Love of a Lifetime" during the annual salute to The Clovis Sound made famous by Norman Petty.

Friday's show also included '80s band, Winger.

"It was great looking into (Tina's) eyes and being in the moment," said the newly married Carlos Molina.

The song has long held a special place in the love birds' hearts and Molina said the timing was perfect.

The couple contacted the band's tour director once they heard they were coming to Clovis and were set up with a VIP package that allowed them on stage to share their first married dance.

"We were blessed to share that experience," Molina said, "it was unreal."

Molina said he did not feel awkward to be on stage because as a musician himself, he has been on stage many times, including opening for Motley Crue.

In addition to that first dance, organizers said the music festival was a hit.

Director Derek Cockrell said the event usually spans three days and Thursdays always have the lowest attendance.

This year, he said, Thursday's rock-legends impersonators rivaled the 2016 Friday night attendance.

"There were about 900 in attendance on Thursday, (compared to 550-600 attendees on Friday of 2016)," Cockrell said.

Overall, organizers said they believe attendance was more than a year ago though they did not have official numbers.

"It was awesome, both nights were awesome," Cockrell said.

He attributes success to moving the dates from fall to summer. Traditionally, the festival had been held in September but was moved this year to coincide with Draggin' Main, which also targets fans of the '50s and '60s.

"It was a home run partnering with Draggin' Main," said Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Director Ernie Kos said.

While the music festival had faced financial hardship in recent years, she said it was already "in the black" this year after Thursday night.

"Merging seems like it created more buzz," Kos said.

Cockrell said going into the event, there was some concern because hundreds of softball players were also in town for the weekend.

"(The hotels) became more of an issue beginning Friday because that's when the tournament began," Cockrell said.

Kos said she hoped the softball fans would realize their added entertainment options between games throughout the weekend.

Kos and Cockrell agree they hope to see the merger of Draggin' Main and the Clovis Music Festival continue.

"Right now, they're still separate committees," said Cockrell, "(but) we want to make sure everything worked the way (the Draggin' Main committee) wanted it to. The music festival committee is extremely happy about how things have gone," he said.


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