As the final full week in August heats up, the city of Grand Rapids launches a multi-week celebration of music, arts and culture at various locations. And outdoor shows continue to dominate the landscape.
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There’s no debating the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged restaurants, bars and concert venues — and severely curtailed live music and other entertainment options.
So, the city of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and Experience Grand Rapids have organized what they’re calling “The Bridge,” several weeks of outdoor, socially distanced events across the city which are aimed at supporting businesses, artists and performers impacted by the coronavirus.
Starting Friday at downtown Rosa Parks Circle with the “Open Windows” digital and live art activation, The Bridge boasts more than 30 events that will be staged in various locations through Oct. 3, including the time period when ArtPrize otherwise would have taken place in Grand Rapids if not for the pandemic.
“Many in our community are suffering because of the pandemic and our national conversation has been weighted with important issues of racial and economic justice,” Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington said in a prepared statement. “By giving our community this platform, we hope not only to celebrate who we are, but to build conversations that promote resiliency, healing, shared understanding and progress in Grand Rapids.”
Added Downtown Grand Rapids President and CEO Tim Kelly: “The Bridge will bring together the best that Grand Rapids has to offer in a safe and entertaining way. This is a time to unite in celebration of the diverse talent and cultures that make Grand Rapids unique.”
Hosted by Element 7, the Friday kickoff — taking place 6-10 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle — will feature artists painting on glass surfaces live on site, with entertainment, a live auction, video and other activities.
Future concerts slated to take place as part of The Bridge include:
• SUMMER IN THE CITY CONCERT – JRob & Bedrock The Foundation, Last Gasp Collective, Whisko & DJ Sanjay and Musicscape by DJ James B playing the Studio Park piazza in downtown Grand Rapids at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 ($35 tickets here)
• SWING AND LINE DANCING – Rosa Parks Circle hosts free dancing and instruction at 7 p.m. Tuesdays throughout September, starting Sept. 8.
• CHERRY PARK LIVE – The East Hills Council of Neighbors will host live music in Cherry Park, 725 Cherry St. SE in Grand Rapids, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10 and at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.
Other events include “A Glimpse of Africa” at Rosa Parks Circle on Sept. 12 with African music, food and merchandise vendors; Fiesta Mexicana at Calder Plaza on Sept. 12 with live music, dancing, food and vendors; and “popup” performances by Heartside Neighborhood musicians, singers and artists throughout September and early October in various locations downtown.
Safety precautions that follow state health guidelines will be taken, with each event limited to a maximum of 100 attendees and social distancing required. Mask-wearing is recommended. Get more details and a full list of events scheduled thus far at The Bridge GR website.
In addition to Friday’s kickoff event for The Bridge, this week’s roster of outdoor concerts on The Big List includes a sold-out show starring The Verve Pipe’s Brian Vander Ark as part of the Listening Room’s “Listening Lawn” series on Studio Park’s piazza at 8 p.m. Thursday and Kalamazoo hip hop cellist and Local Spins’ Emerging Artist of the Year Jordan Hamilton playing Blandford Nature Center’s “Bands at Blandford” series at 7 p.m. Friday.
Find listings of some live-stream performances at Local Spins online here. Those attending in-person concerts are encouraged to wear masks, social-distance, wash their hands and follow guidelines as recommended. If your business or your band has a live, in-person performance to add to this concert listing, email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BIG LIST CONCERT GUIDE (Aug. 24-30)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to changing conditions and unexpected closures, check with the restaurants or venues on this list before you make plans to attend a show to make sure they’re still open.
• Cheap Dates outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Monday
• Astro Jackson outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Tuesday
• The New Standard jazz jam at Dee Lite, 24 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 6 p.m. Tuesday
• Taylor & DeMarr playing Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
• Hey Marco! playing the “Driveway Concert Series” in Grand Rapids Township, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Get details, directions and register online here.)
• So Long Belladonna performing at Bates Alley for “Beats on Bates” in Kalamazoo, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
• Oxymorons outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Wednesday
• Tom Patton at Rush Creek Bistro, 624 Port Sheldon Road SW in Grandville, 6 p.m. Wednesday
• Flatland Grip at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
• Kevin Michael Jones playing Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids for “Relax at Rosa,” noon Thursday
• Terry Lee & The Cat Skinners playing the outdoor summer concert series (by Eyes & Beers of Caledonia) at the Caledonia Community Green Space in Caledonia, 6 p.m. Thursday
• Great Scott Band outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Thursday
• Steffan Copenhaver playing the Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 6 p.m. Thursday
• Lew Russ playing Burl & Sprig, 500 W. Western Ave. Suite 200 in Muskegon, 7 p.m. Thursday
• Douglas and Frank from Union Guns at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, 6:30 p.m. Thursday
• Corrina Wenger playing outdoors at Camp Clear Sky, 12400 Grand River Dr. SE, Lowell, 7 p.m. Thursday; register here.
• Jenna Mammina, Rolf Sturm & Friends performing at the Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion, 100 S. Lake St., Cadillac, 7 p.m. Thursday
• Brian Vander Ark & Friends playing the “Listening Lawn” series on the piazza at Studio Park outside Listening Room at Oakes Street and Ionia Avenue SW in downtown Grand Rapids, 8 p.m. Thursday, SOLD OUT
• Nate Holley playing Itty Bitty Bar, 1136 Ottawa Beach Road in Holland, 8:30 p.m. Thursday
• Voca Lyrica performing for the “Pocket Park Music Series” in downtown Big Rapids, noon Friday
• Bryan Scott Hammond playing outdoors at Sandy Point Beach House, 7175 Lakeshore Drive in West Olive, 5 p.m. Friday
• The Bridge’s “Open Windows” live and digital art activation with live entertainment at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Friday
• Nick DeKoff playing The B.O.B.’s Beer Garden in downtown Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Friday
• Decades outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Friday
• Dave & Connie D playing Borrowed Time, 22 E. Center St. in Douglas, 6 p.m. Friday
• Flatland Grip at Dockers Fish House, 3505 Marina View Pt. in Muskegon, 6 p.m. Friday
• Jordan Hamilton playing the “Bands at Blandford” series at Blandford Nature Center, 3145 Milo St. NW, 7 p.m. Friday; $20 ($15 members); VIP $35 ($30 members); get details here.
• Hannah Rose Graves playing the Music in the Garten series at Third Nature Brewing Co., 7733 Childsdale Ave. NE in Rockford, 7 p.m. Friday
• Jake & Jimmy Band performing on the deck at Cheers Restaurant, 3944 Plainfield Ave. NE in Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. Friday
• That Beatles Thing playing Pocket Park at the corner of Main Street and Eastmanville Avenue in Coopersville, 7 p.m. Friday (bring lawn chairs)
• Two Dudes in Flip Flops playing Burl & Sprig, 500 W. Western Ave. Suite 200 in Muskegon, 7 p.m. Friday
• FlyLiteGemini Duo playing Guardian Brewing, 3657 63rd St. in Saugatuck, 7 p.m. Friday
• Kindred at Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, 415 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 8 p.m. Friday
• Swing Operation playing 18th Amendment Spirits Co., 350 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 8 p.m. Friday
• Vinylicious playing Itty Bitty Bar, 1136 Ottawa Beach Road in Holland, 9 p.m. Friday.
• Steve Leaf playing Borrowed Time, 22 E. Center St. in Douglas, 1 p.m. Saturday
• Full Cord Bluegrass playing a house concert at 16840 Buchanan St. in Grand Haven, 1 p.m. Saturday, $20 (more details here)
• Jeff Armstrong performing on the deck at Big Lake Brewing, 13 W. 7th St. in Holland, 4 p.m. Saturday
• Randy Johnson playing outdoors at Sandy Point Beach House, 7175 Lakeshore Drive in West Olive, 5 p.m. Saturday
• Three’s a Crowd outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Saturday
• Brad & Jordan playing Borrowed Time, 22 E. Center St. in Douglas, 6 p.m. Saturday
• The Williams Family playing “Good Times at the Gazebo” at the gazebo in downtown Allegan, 7 p.m. Saturday
• John Shea Trio playing Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th St. SE, 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Call for reservations)
• DJ Jay Vee playing The B.O.B.’s Beer Garden in downtown Grand Rapids, 7 p.m. Saturday
• The Bootstrap Boys playing outdoors at Camp Clear Sky, 12400 Grand River Dr. SE, Lowell, 7 p.m. Saturday; register here.
• Frantic Kingdom playing Burl & Sprig, 500 W. Western Ave. Suite 200 in Muskegon, 7 p.m. Saturday
• Vincent Hayes at Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, 415 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon, 8 p.m. Saturday
• Bitter Desire playing Itty Bitty Bar, 1136 Ottawa Beach Road in Holland, 9 p.m. Saturday
• Porter Kenyon at Cedar Springs Brewing in downtown Cedar Springs, noon Sunday
• Colin Tobin playing “Singer-Songwriter Sundays” at Borrowed Time, 22 E. Center St. in Douglas, 2 p.m. Sunday
• Full Cord Bluegrass playing the Caledonia Amphitheater on Dogger-Wenger Memorial Drive in Caledonia Township, 3 p.m. Sunday (more details here)
• Coty Bouchard playing the Kirby House, 2 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven, 4 p.m. Sunday
• Jam Session at Camp Clear Sky, 12400 Grand River Dr. SE, Lowell, 4:20 p.m. Sunday; register here.
• Livin’ the Dream outdoors at The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE in Grand Rapids, 6 p.m. Sunday
Have a show to add to The Big List? Email email@example.com.
Copyright 2020, Spins on Music LLC