For many, the outdoor summer concerts at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park are a well-loved tradition—an opportunity to get lost in the sounds of a favorite artist; a chance to catch up with old friends; a moment to take in the beautiful Michigan weather.
The good news?
Meijer Gardens has announced plans for the safe return of live music this summer with three unique series: Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens, Tuesday Evening Music Club and the Jim & Marie Preston Sunday Strings, which features musicians from the Grand Rapids Symphony and West Michigan.
Because of the still-fluid developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Meijer Gardens has stressed that all dates, performers and information (some of which have yet to be announced) are subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions.
Meijer Gardens and the Grand Rapids Symphony have also announced a partnership for three shows during the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens. These shows include a solo Grand Rapids Symphony performance conducted by Bob Bernhardt, Principal Pops Conductor, the Grand Rapids Symphony with Pink Martini and another special show to be announced.
"We are very excited to bring the Grand Rapids Symphony back to Meijer Gardens for these special concerts," said Mary Tuuk Kuras, President & CEO, Grand Rapids Symphony. "Our shared mission of promoting the arts and bringing our community together makes this partnership a wonderful fit."
If regulations allow, the 2021 Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens concert series is scheduled to take place in July, August and September.
Featuring an eclectic mix of alternative, indie, blues and rock, the lineup will include The Verve Pipe, O.A.R., Kansas, St. Paul & The Broken Bones and Black Violin + Blind Boys of Alabama. Meijer Gardens says the complete lineup of 30 shows and ticket on sale dates will be announced as soon as possible.
"We look forward to the return of music at Meijer Gardens and are pleased to be able to continue our support of Meijer Gardens and the popular summer concert series which now includes the Grand Rapids Symphony," said Tom Welch, President, Fifth Third Bank Regional. "We are delighted that two Grand Rapids treasured cultural organizations are teaming up to further the arts in our community. We are pleased to continue our support of both organizations in this new way."
The Tuesday Evening Music Club brings talented local and regional musicians to the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater stage on Tuesday evenings in July and August starting at 7 p.m. This year's lineup includes Welcome Back Tuesday with Ralston Bowles & Very Special Guests (July 6); Franklin Park (July 13); Political Lizard / Molly (July 20); Via Mardot / Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish (July 27); Samuel Nalangira / The Moxie Strings (August 3); Cameron Blake / Patty PerShayla (August 10); Pajamas / Charlie Millard Band (August 17); Ralston & Friends (August 24); and Grand Rapids Ballet (August 31).
Under current restrictions, Meijer Gardens says capacity will be restricted to 1,000 people, and if rules allow, capacity will be increased.
The Jim & Marie Preston Sunday Strings expands on an idea that was trialed during the summer of 2020. Led by violinist Haijin Choi, these chamber music performances happen throughout the Gardens & Sculpture Park and will feature combinations of violin, harp, marimba, mandolin, cello and more. These five special performances are included with admission and will take place on Sunday June 6, June 20, July 18, August 29 and September 12. The Sunday, July 18 performance will include a special opportunity for audience participation within the Lena Meijer Children's Garden—with more information being announced closer to the date.
Jim & Marie Preston, longtime supporters of Meijer Gardens, were excited for the opportunity to support live classical music performances in a sculpture garden setting.
"We love both Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and the Grand Rapids Symphony and couldn't think of a better way to help bring these wonderful assets of our community together for a formal series," said Jim & Marie. "We were thrilled at the diversity of the audience for last summer's events and look forward to this series growing!"
Tuesday Evening Music Club and Jim & Marie Preston Sunday Strings performances are free for members and included in admission for other guests.
"Meijer Gardens is only able to present these concerts and events with the generous support of our sponsors, the Meijer family and our members," said David Hooker, President & CEO, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. "In addition, our dedicated and loyal volunteers play an outsized role in presenting these shows and ensuring a rewarding and meaningful experience."
Members of Meijer Gardens will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2021 Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens series during an exclusive two-week members-only pre-sale, the dates for which Meijer Gardens says will be announced as soon as possible. During the pre-sale, members receive a $5 discount per ticket. Tickets will go on sale to the general public immediately following the members-only presale.
More information on prices and purchasing locations will be made available following the release of the full lineup.
Learn more at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
Photo © Tony Norkus, Courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens.