Music beating virus so far
Communities planning free concerts this summer
By Steve Metsch
Local communities are hoping their summer music festivals are not casualties of the coronavirus, which has result in so many spring cancelations.
Brookfield and Lyons are banking on the lifting of restrictions of large groups because of concerns of spreading the coronavirus. Lifting those would allow each to present their annual music festivals.
Countryside is also hoping to offer live music, perhaps with their schedule pushed back a bit.
Each community offers live music once a week over several weeks each summer.
And, as of Monday, each is booking artists and planning on offering free live music.
Stevie Ferrari, director of the Brookfield parks and recreation department, said April 17 that “nothing has been canceled.”
“We really do hope this doesn’t impact (the summer), but we will see. We have our summer lineup,” Ferrari said.
The plan is for live music to start at 7 p.m. on June 12 with country music of Southern Draw in Kiwanis Park, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
Brookfield has 10 shows planned over 11 weeks. There’s no concert set on July 3.Big local names in the lineup include the Neverly Brothers on July 17, Evil Burrito on Aug. 7, and Anthem on Aug. 21.
In Lyons, they’re planning for music as usual this summer at the pavilion in Veterans Park, 4100 Lawndale Ave. The Music in the Park concerts are held on Wednesday nights.
“As far as we’re concerned, every event for the parks and recreation department for the summer – while it remains in limbo – they are still schedule to continue,” said Ted Tala, director of the village’s parks and recreation department.
“We have not canceled any of our concerts. We are in the process of booking bands for July 8 through August 26,” said parks and recreation director Ted Tala.
“I hate to cancel any summer events that bring happiness and bring the community together. I prefer, in all honesty, once we get the okay form the powers that be, I want to be fully as normal as possible with all the programs and things our department has to offer,” Tala said.
That includes the annual summer camp for kids.
“We usually based it on the (School) District 103 schedule … When we do get more information from the governor, that’s when we will take into account how we’ll proceed with our summer camp,” Tala said.
He noted that many families with working parents “count on us” to offer summer camp.
“They may have essential jobs or may be allowed to go back to work. They may not have been able to hire s babysitter and they may be on hard times due to shelter in place,” Tala said. “We are an affordable alternative.”
City Park in Countryside for several years has hosted a summer music series on Thursday nights. So far, the city is planning to once again over the weekly concerts, perhaps with a twist.
In an e-mail on April 17, Countryside City Administrator Gail Paul wrote, “we are hoping to push it back.”
“I was just discussing this (on April 17) with the Assistant City Administrator, Sharon Peterson, who handle special events. (Peterson) is talking to Alderman Jim Jasinski, chairman of the special events committee, regarding this issue,” Paul wrote.
“No decision has been made yet, however, they are considering whether to push the series back or cancel. We will let you know when a final decision is made,” Paul wrote.
The Summer Concert Series is held in Countryside Park, located on 61stStreet, just east of Brainard Avenue.
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