When the Stars Align

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Grab a blanket and spend the warm glow of summer evenings listening to music in the midst of spectacular gardens. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park recently announced its 2017 Outdoor Summer Concert Series lineup, featuring 30 eclectic shows for music fans across all genres and all generations.

"It's a magical combination of a lot of stars aligning," said John VanderHaagen, Public Relations Manager.

June through August, fan favorites—including Diana Krall, Sheryl Crow and the Beach Boys—will return to the Gardens' famous amphitheater for sunset performances. This year, the Gardens is happy to host 10 acts who have never performed on its stage before, including Lifehouse and Switchfoot.

If the talent doesn't draw you, the setting certainly will: What really makes the Outdoor Summer Concert series unique is the amphitheater's terraced lawn seating.

In March 2017, the Gardens announced plans for a four-year project to expand the gardens, including an upgraded amphitheater. But summer concert fans, do not fret: The 1,900-seat amphitheater will remain one of the most distinct and intimate venues in Michigan.

"We really found the sweet spot," said VanderHaagen. And they don't want it to change.

In years to come, expect the same cozy setting with shorter lines for beer and food. Plans include expansion and upgrades to concession stands, restrooms for guests standing in line, and gates for entering and exiting the venue.

Tickets for all concerts are available to members only beginning at 9 a.m. on April 29. The members-only presale runs through midnight, May 12. Sales open to the public at 9 a.m. on May 13.

"Be online right at 9 a.m. on April 29," VanderHaagen said. Last year, 17 of the 30 shows sold out on the first day of ticket sales. Members get first dibs, so if you want better chances at being part of the "sold" in "sold out," become a member. It's a good deal: Members receive discounted ticket prices, and the cost of membership pays off with just four visits to the Gardens.

"We're really excited for another great season," VanderHaagen said.

Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for West Michigan Woman magazine.

Photo by Anthony Norkus Photography, courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

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