Free Family Concerts Start June 30
By Julia Gavin
Every summer, thousands of people visit the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell to enjoy concerts, events, athletic games and more in the impressive indoor arena. But this summer, the community can celebrate the season at several outdoor concerts in the Center's backyard, complete with barbecue.
"We're starting this event for a few reasons," says Michael Soriano, Marketing Director for the Center. "We have a beautiful space behind the Tsongas Center along the Merrimack River, which has gone underutilized in years past. We wanted to give the community an opportunity to come and enjoy that part of the Tsongas Center."
The concerts will take place on several Thursday evenings throughout the summer with all shows running from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free and there will be catered food available to purchase to round out the familiar backyard cookout feel. Visitors are asked to bring blankets and lawn chairs to gather around the musicians while enjoying the sounds and scenery. In case of rain, the concerts will be moved indoors to the arena’s lobby.
Bringing the Arts to More Families in Lowell
The Tsongas Center staff members are excited about the new event series, which they hope will allow more families and community members to experience the talents of several local musicians at the free shows.
"There is definitely a culture of music and the arts in Lowell, so to be able to add to that culture and provide free shows for the city is going to be a lot of fun and something we hope becomes a summer tradition, " says Soriano.
Local musicians are also excited for the series which will support six bands during the events. Several UMass Lowell alumni will be performing at the Backyard Music Series, including members of the local band The Flip.
"It's great to see more music events popping up around Lowell," says Ashley DiGrazia, lead singer for The Flip. "We've been playing locally for three years and really appreciate the chance to play many great Lowell events including this one. Any support for the arts is great for the city."
Bands Scheduled To Date:
- June 30 – Island Castaways: popular Jimmy Buffet cover band and original Trop Rock songs
- July 14 – Jen Kearney & the Lost Onion: local band rising to fame with their unique blend of soul, folk, rock, Latin, and jazz
- July 21 – Yani Batteau and the Styles: Somerville trio performing vintage country, traditional folk, and originals
- Aug. 4 – Richard James and the Name Changers: North Shore six-piece jam and funk band with exciting and interactive live shows
- Aug. 11 – The Flip: Pop, rock, folk group performing covers and originals from their debut CD "Runaway"
- Aug. 18 – Melvern Taylor and His Fabulous Meltones: Lowell-based, ukulele-driven music you can sing along with on first listen