The Bootstrap Boys, Patty PerShayla, Molly, Last Gasp Collective, Cabildo and more will perform outdoors at the Grand Rapids nature center starting in June. View the full schedule.
After a COVID-shortened season in 2020, Blandford Nature Center is set to roll out a full slate of outdoor “Bands at Blandford” concerts this summer, starting with Grand Rapids retro-country favorites The Bootstrap Boys on June 12.
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The twice-monthly, Saturday night series at Blandford, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW in Grand Rapids, will also feature performances by regional acts Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps, Cabildo, Last Gasp Collective, The Diatribe, Peace to Mateo and Molly.
Volunteer manager Katie Clouse said the concert series — showcasing “all different styles of music” — is not only moving from Fridays to Saturdays in 2021, but also will shift the stage to “the main side of the property for a more ‘immersed in nature’ feel.”
All shows will run 7-9 p.m. Tickets – $25 ($20 members) – for the June concerts go on sale Monday (May 3). Tickets for July’s shows go on sale June 3, with September’s concerts on sale Aug. 3.
Clouse said after the success of last year’s abbreviated series in August and September, organizers “feel confident to bring it back to life again this year. By moving the series to the main side of the property, it has allowed us to safely increase capacity this year.
“We have the ability to offer safe outdoor spaces to our community to continue providing uplifting experiences during these difficult times and we continue to educate ourselves on ways to ensure these experiences are both safe and meaningful.”
Ticket sales will be limited to 75 with 12-foot diameter circles set up for seating and a maximum of six people per group. Wearing of masks is mandatory when attendees are outside those circles.
Clouse noted that after a restrictive pandemic, people are “eager to get out and enjoy all of the amazing things West Michigan has to offer: live music, arts, festivals and more. I think people really rely on us as a place where we take the safety of our community very serious and that allows them to feel comfortable to come and experience something like live music.”
She added that the Bands at Blandford series “connects people through both music and nature, and this year, we are even throwing in live poetry.”
The Diatribe – a Grand Rapids-based organization that uses performing arts and poetry to empower young people to share their stories and raise awareness of social issues – will enhance the final three Bands at Blandford shows on the schedule.
Clouse said a teacher and a student poet “will open and close the evening with live poetry” during those concerts.
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