WASHINGTON - Donald Trump, ever the showman, has unveiled a grand concert and celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, where he will speak live to the nation - on the eve of his inauguration the next day as the 45th President of the US.
In effect, the event will be a triumphal public rally with free ticketing - a form that suits the former reality TV star well and one he used to great effect in the November 2016 election campaign, drawing large crowds.
The President-elect not only tweets seemingly off the cuff directly to his support base, but media networks scramble to cover his public speeches - virtually eliminating the usual press conference format. In this case, the public will get the informal Donald Trump on Jan 19, and the more formal version at the solemn inauguration at noon on Jan 20.
The “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” on Jan 19 is produced and directed by Emmy award winners and nominees, a Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) statement said.
“For the first time ever, this inaugural event will be a fully produced broadcast event freely available to all US networks, and features the first planned remarks by the President-elect in Washington, DC,” the PIC said.
“President-elect Trump has made it clear that this inaugural is of, by, and for the American people. The 58th Inaugural will celebrate American history and heritage, while setting the course to a brighter and bolder future for all Americans,” PIC chairman Tom Barrack said in an e-mailed statement.
"Above all, it will serve as tribute to one of our greatest attributes, the peaceful transition of partisan power.
“We will be one people working together, leading together, and making America great again, together."
The lineup for the concert - entitled “Voices of the People” - is a mishmash of acts, including the DC Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, King’s Academy Honor Choir, Montgomery Area High School Marching Band, South Park and District Pipe Band, Everett High School Viking Marching Band, and Celtic United Pipes and Drums.
The Republican Hindu Coalition is also part of the concert.
Following this, will be a “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
This will feature “historic remarks” from President-elect Trump and “special appearances” from more bands like 3 Doors Down and The Frontmen of Country, and celebrities like Jon Voight.