Concert on the Pier returns to Lake Tillery as concert series

Published 4:34 pm Monday, June 13, 2022

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The Concerts on the Pier returns this summer as a concert series.

The first concert is at 7:30 p.m. June 18 on Lake Tillery, near Goat Island (the last cove before the southern dam on the Stanly County side of the lake) and will feature Dustin Curlee.

People can listen to the free concert from their boats, from shore or by watching the live stream on the Stanly County Arts Council’s Facebook page. If interested in shore seating, email Austin Coats to reserve a spot at

Curlee has been playing, singing and performing music in the local area for the past 18 years, even though he’s only 24.

During the 2021-2022 “American Idol” season, Curlee made it through three rounds of competition. His favorite aspect of being in Hollywood with “American Idol” was performing on the stage of the Orpheum Theater, where many superstars have performed before him.

Curlee won the talent competition at the Oakboro 4th of July Talent Show in 2018 and performed for the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Competition in 2021.

Curlee is married to Candace Curlee and resides in Stanfield with their five children.
For more about Curlee and to hear some of his music, check out his Facebook page:

“We are so excited that Dustin is part of our concert series. We hope that everyone will come to hear him perform. We also can’t wait to see what the future holds for his professional music career. Dustin’s passion is spreading his love of music to others and we know with his talent and passion, he will achieve even greater success than he already has,” said Lynn Plummer, chairman of the Stanly County Arts Council.

Concert on the Pier is the brainchild of Austin Coats. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Coats was living in New York City.

During the New York shut down, Coats decided to return to Stanly County until Covid restrictions improved. In Fall 2020, Coats determined that performing from a pier for boats or for an audience socially distanced on shore would meet the needs to hear live music while being performed in a safe environment.

The first Concert on the Pier occurred on a chilly night in October 2020 with Coats performing and raising funds for the local arts community by having donations benefit the Stanly County Arts Council.

He followed that concert with another concert in May 2021, with much better weather and once again the funds raised benefited the Stanly County Arts Council.

Coats thought it would be wonderful to have a series and have other performers take the pier.

There will be two more Saturday night concerts: July 16 with Miss Stanly County Kate White, and Aug. 13 with Coats.

Donations will be accepted again on behalf of the Stanly County Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to encourage and promote broad-based cultural and educational activities in the arts throughout Stanly County.

“We are so grateful to the Coats for always finding unique ways to support the arts. This has become our favorite fundraiser. I hope everyone will find a way to Goat Island on Lake Tillery, either by boat, by car or by viewing on Facebook, to support Dustin on his musical journey and the mission of the Stanly County Arts Council,” said Renee VanHorn, executive director of the Stanly County Arts Council.

For more on the arts, visit Contact VanHorn at

The Stanly County Arts Council is supported by private donations and by the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.