After a silent 2020, communities across West Michigan will host park concerts this summer with acts ranging from The Accidentals to Soul Syndicate. The lowdown, schedules & lineups for a dozen-plus series.
VIEW LOCAL SPINS’ FULL ‘OUTDOOR COMMUNITY CONCERTS 2021’ SCHEDULE
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After the COVID pandemic forced cancellation of most community concert series across West Michigan in 2020, many cities will resume outdoor shows starring local and regional artists this summer.
Popular outdoor concert series in Lowell, Sparta, Hudsonville, Allegan, Cutlerville and Caledonia already have announced summer lineups, along with many communities to the north.
Popular Michigan acts such as The Accidentals, Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys, The Bootstrap Boys, Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps, Soul Syndicate, May Erlewine, Earth Radio and Brena will heat up stages across the region as hopeful concert organizers, musicians and fans eye the waning of pandemic concerns.
“Knock on wood and keyboards, I’m looking forward to making people forget about life for awhile,” said keyboardist Dennie Middleton, who plays Sparta’s ‘Concerts in Rogers Park’ on June 30, the week before Traverse City’s The Accidentals hit the same stage.
Middleton, who’s been vaccinated and whose busy summer includes a Dueling Pianos show with Kevin Viilo in Ludington over Memorial Day weekend, noted he performed in Key West for 35 days and believes the Grand Rapids area is “so much less of a risk compared to Key West.”
As for the Sparta series, “Nick (Lewis) and I have played the series in (Middleton’s) hometown for quite a few summers, so it’s always nice seeing old friends singing along.”
Many communities will host shows for the first time since 2019. The Sparta series kicks off with the retro pop/rock of 6-Pak on June 9, the “Lowell Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts” opens with country’s Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys on June 17, Hudsonville’s “Concerts on the Green” starts with Brena on June 3. See schedules for those and more series here.
Grand Rapids outlaw country act The Bootstrap Boys have several outdoor shows scheduled, including a July 15 performance for Cutlerville’s “Sounds of Summer” series at Cutler Park.
“We are elated to be hitting the stage again,” said Jake “Big Jake” Stilson of The Bootstrap Boys, which is currently producing a new single at River City Studios.
Of course, some popular outdoor series still haven’t yet made a final decision on moving forward in 2021, with worries about another possible surge in COVID cases even as the vaccine rollout accelerates.
“We are hopeful that we can go through with our scheduled concerts but everything is really only penciled in at this point,” said Patty PerShayla, whose band The Mayhaps is scheduled to play Hart’s “Music on the Commons” series on July 22.
“I am discouraged by the increasing rate of COVID cases in Michigan but I know the band and I are all planning to get vaccinated as soon as possible and I encourage all hopeful concert-goers to do the same.”
Lorain Smalligan of LowellArts said the Lowell series — which essentially presents the same artists initially booked for 2020 — is “moving forward just like we did last year and making decisions based on state and local COVID restrictions and guidelines. We are doing this safely and responsibly and we will respect the guidelines as best we can.”
The Lowell shows will also be live-streamed for those who’d rather view the shows from home.
In Caledonia, the new summer concert series will also feature food trucks with “so much space to spread out for everyone to enjoy some live music comfortably,” said organizer Adam Stauffer.
See the full roster of currently scheduled shows in Local Spins’ FREE OUTDOOR COMMUNITY CONCERTS 2021 listing here.
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