First-timers and returning acts will grace the 30-show season, including Greensky Bluegrass, Jason Isbell, The Revivalists, Maren Morris, First Aid Kit & Joss Stone. The lineup, details at Local Spins.
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Concertgoers flooding the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park amphitheater this summer will get treated to more than just the ‘usual suspects’ and returning favorites such as Lyle Lovett, Michael Franti, O.A.R., The Beach Boys and Trombone Shorty.
The 2023 lineup also boasts first-time appearances by critically acclaimed acts The Revivalists, Orville Peck, First Aid Kit, Train and internationally revered guitar whiz Tommy Emmanuel, Meijer Gardens announced today.
Not only that, but the 30-concert series will feature the return of several artists who haven’t played the amphitheater in years, including bluegrass heroes Nickel Creek (who kick off the series June 8), rock guitar legend Peter Frampton (who recently came out of retirement), and pianist Ben Folds (who’ll perform with the Grand Rapids Symphony).
Kalamazoo progressive bluegrass powerhouse Greensky Bluegrass also will return to the amphitheater, this time playing a headlining show on June 28, two days after performing at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
“We’ve always wanted to find a way to introduce artists into the lineup that may not be specific to any one thing,” said Chris Mautz, the Utah promoter who books the Meijer Gardens series.
“We’re really trying to be mindful and selective and stick to what we know. The really gratifying thing is (that artists and managers in the industry) believe in us and want to be part of it.”
While Mautz said Meijer Gardens will always “have some of that comfort food that comes back that people love to have and see,” the series also will strive to showcase indie acts – such as Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit and Canadian pop duo Tegan & Sara – and emerging artists who haven’t appeared at the venue.
“We wanted to make sure that we reach out to other members of the musical audience when we can and introduce that music to our core audience,” Mautz said.
MEIJER GARDENS MEMBERS PRE-SALE APRIL 22; AVERAGE PRICES SIMILAR TO 2022
Discounted tickets go on sale to Meijer Gardens members at 9 a.m. April 22, online via Etix.com or by calling 800-514-3849. There’s a $15 “handling fee” per order and there will be no in-person sales at Meijer Gardens.
Public sales of tickets will begin at 9 a.m. May 6, though many of the season’s concerts sell out to members before reaching public ticket sales.
The average public ticket price of $72.90 for the 2023 series is about $1 less than the average price in 2022, when prices jumped an average of 22 percent from the previous year. Three 2023 concerts – Jason Isbell on Aug. 6, Train on Aug. 7 and Maren Morris on Aug. 18 – break the $100 mark for public tickets.
A prime example of an acclaimed emerging act making his Meijer Gardens debut is Orville Peck, a genre-bending country artist from South Africa who’s based in Canada.
The singularly talented Peck – who plays Meijer Gardens on Aug. 2 – wears a fringed mask during shows and doesn’t show his face publicly. Considered an LGBTQ hero, he’s won several awards and was nominated for country album of the year for “Bronco” at the 2023 Juno Awards.
“Anyone who’s seen Orville Peck live has nothing but incredibly positive things to say about it,” Mautz said. “It’s an overwhelmingly connective experience. It’s just a cool thing all around.”
Mautz also raved about bringing back Americana songwriter Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit. Isbell played to just over 1,000 fans at Meijer Gardens back in 2014 and has since become a prominent, much-admired performer and tunesmith.
“To see what he has done in terms of this reputation among musicians is so staggering. His live shows are legendary,” Mautz said. “People travel all over to see him.”
Mautz also pointed to what he considers other standout shows in the series, including the Meijer Gardens debut of crossover artist Maren Morris, guitar virtuoso Emmanuel who’s touring with another virtuoso, Jerry Douglas, an August appearance by the “dynamic” Joss Stone, and The Swell Season, featuring singer-songwriters Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.
“It’s a stunning show and such an interesting audience” he said of The Swell Season, playing the amphitheater on Aug. 17. “It’s going to be mesmerizing to see it at the gardens.”
As has been a recent tradition, the 2023 series will also feature performances by the Grand Rapids Symphony, pairing up with Ben Folds on July 20 and Amos Lee on July 26.
From Brandi Carlile to John Prine to Gov’t Mule to The Avett Brothers. Local Spins readers chose their favorite Meijer Gardens shows as part of our recent ‘Question of the Week.’ Check out more than 150 of their responses online here. Sign up for Local Spins email updates here, and get first crack at our next Question of the Week with a chance to win Local Spins gift packs.
2023 MEIJER GARDENS FIFTH THIRD BANK SUMMER CONCERTS
June 8 – Nickel Creek with Gaby Moreno: $67 presale / $70 member / $72 public
June 11 – O.A.R.: $79 presale / $82 member / $84 public
June 15 – Michael Franti & Spearhead with The Dip: $58 presale / $61 member / $63 public
June 16 – Tegan and Sara with Dragonette: $59 presale / $62 member / $64 public
June 18 – The Wood Brothers with Shovels & Rope: $48 presale / $51 member / $53 public
June 19 – Peter Frampton: $94 presale / $97 member / $99 public
June 21 – Lyle Lovett & His Large Band: $69 presale / $72 member / $74 public
June 23 – Buddy Guy’s Farewell Tour with Ally Venable: $74 presale / $77 member / $79 public
June 28 – Greensky Bluegrass: $64 presale / $67 member / $69 public
July 2 – Umphrey’s McGee: $59 presale / $62 member / $64 public
July 10 – Jenny Lewis with Jenny O and Hayden Pedigo: $48 presale / $51 member / $53 public
July 12 – Tommy Emmanuel with The Jerry Douglas Band: $42 presale / $45 member / $47 public
July 19 – Trombone Shorty, Mavis Staples: $80 presale / $83 member / $85 public
July 20 – Ben Folds with the Grand Rapids Symphony: $78 presale / $81 member / $83 public
July 21 – First Aid Kit with The Weather Station: $47 presale / $50 member / $52 public
July 23 – Andy Grammer: $52 presale/ $55 member / $57 public
July 24 – Melissa Etheridge with ZZ Ward: $74 presale / $77 member / $79 public
July 26 – Amos Lee with the Grand Rapids Symphony: $78 presale / $81 member / $83 public
July 31 – The Revivalists, Band of Horses: $79 presale / $82 member / $84 public
Aug. 2 – Orville Peck: $52 presale / $55 member / $57 public
Aug. 3 – Boz Scaggs, Keb’ Mo’: $89 presale / $92 member / $94 public
Aug. 6 – Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit with S.G. Goodman: $96 presale / $99 member / $101 public
Aug. 7 – Train with Thunderstorm Artis: $100 presale / $103 member / $105 public
Aug. 10 – An Evening With Dark Star Orchestra: $48 presale / $51 member / $53 public
Aug. 13 – Three Dog Night: $55 presale / $58 member / $60 public
Aug. 17 – The Swell Season (Marketa Irglova & Glen Hansard): $60 presale / $63 member / $65 public
Aug. 18 – Maren Morris with Carter Faith: $99 presale / $102 member / $104 public
Aug. 20 – Joss Stone with Stephen Wilson Jr.: $65 presale / $68 member / $70 public
Aug. 21 – The Beach Boys: $75 presale / $78 member / $80 public
Sept. 15 – Guster: $49 presale / $52 member / $54 public