The Design to bring crowd surfing to Water Festival River Dance

charley@beaufortgazette.comJuly 18, 2012 

Members of The Design, from left, are Keith Lewis, Kat Robichaud, Robbie Dooley and Jon Fleck. The band will perform July 20 at the Beaufort Water Festival's River Dance.

AUTUMN HARRISON/SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • The Beaufort Water Festival's River Dance is from 8 p.m.-midnight July 20 in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Gates open at 7 p.m. Opening entertainment is by Shark Rodeo, with the main show by The Design. Must be 18 or older with valid identification to attend. Tickets are $12. Details: 843-524-0600, info@bftwaterfestival.com

Crowd surfing might be the name of the game in Beaufort on July 20 at the 57th annual Beaufort Water Festival's River Dance.

Kat Robichaud lead singer of the Raleigh, N.C.-based band The Design has been known to jump from the stage and into the hands of strong-looking people who will hold her up and move her through the crowd.

"It is very exhilarating putting your life into the hands of a crowd," Robichaud said.

Keeping the audience involved is the goal of band, made up of four members, all in their 20s.

"We like to go out into the crowd and dance with the people," said Robichaud, who also is known to attack her audience with Silly String.

The band's high-energy performances is one of the reasons they were hired, said Water Festival Commodore John Gentry. Gentry grew up attending the Street Dance, which was held on Bay Street up until 2008. It has now moved into the park and has a new name, River Dance.

"We wanted a band who gets the crowd involved," said Gentry of the show, which is only open to those age 18 and older. "The Design is different from our other bands. They are a little more edgy."

The Design's music is described as glam pop rock'n'roll. The group, which just finished recording its third album, will perform their newly released single, "Get Gone," as well as covers from performers such as LMFAO, Journey, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses and Janis Joplin.

Robichaud has been with the band for the past seven years, while other members have come and gone. She began singing at the age of 5 in her church choir. She credits her love of Broadway, taught to her by her dad, as influencing her wardrobe and on-stage theatrics. Her two older brothers were musical influences during her teen years.

"I spend 99 percent of my time zipping around the stage," Robichaud said. "I have got to feel it (the music)."

"Our goal is to make people have a great time and to make the show memorable. I want them when they leave that night to take a piece of the show with them."

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