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Musicians heading to summer stages

5/23/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

GREATER AKRON — The days are long and the nights are warm, making it prime season for Akron area music lovers.

Free outdoor community concerts are planned throughout the area, with performances set nearly every day of the week for the next couple of months.

Lock 3 Park in Downtown Akron begins its free Rock the Lock Friday night concerts tonight, May 24, making it the first series to be up and running. [For Lock 3’s concert schedule, see the May 17 edition of the South Side News Leader or check the archives at www.akron.com, or go to www.lock3live.com.] The next few weeks will see other local communities and organizations follow suit.

Here’s a rundown of local free concerts planned in the area:


Akron Art Museum

The museum’s Downtown @ Dusk series is back this year on Thursdays. Concerts will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the member parking lot adjacent to the museum at 1 S. High St. If it rains, concerts will take place in the lobby. ArtCamp @ Dusk for children takes place during the concerts ($5, free for members) and free ArtTalks @ Dusk also are offered during these evenings. For more details, go to www.akronartmuseum.org:

June 20: Lost State of Franklin

June 27: Robin Stone

July 11: The Speedbumps

July 18: Horns and Things

July 25: Wanda Hunt Band

Aug. 1: J.D. Eicher and The Goodnights

Aug. 8: 15-60-75 The Numbers Band and Zydeco Kings

Aug. 15: Anne E. DeChant

Akron Symphony Orchestra

The symphony will perform throughout the Akron area this summer on selected Sundays and July 4. The free concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m.:

July 4: Lock 3 (8 p.m.)

July 28: Hardesty Park

Aug. 4: Glendale Cemetery

Aug. 11: Firestone Park

Aug. 18: Goodyear Heights Metro Park

Downtown Akron Lunch Hour Concert Series

Downtown Akron Partnership sponsors concerts from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Fridays at Lock 3 as part of the Market at Lock 3 farmers’ market. Concerts begin July 19. At presstime, concerts had not been finalized. For details, go to www.downtownakron.com.

Firestone Metro Park

Children’s activities will be offered from 7 to 7:30 p.m., followed by an hour of live music by the Akron Pops Orchestra June 20 and Goodyear Concert Band July 18. All events will be at the Coventry Oaks Pavilion, 40 Axline Ave. Friends of Metro Parks will serve free dessert from Acme Fresh Market while supplies last. If it rains, the concert will be canceled. Call 330-865-8060 for the concert’s status after 4 p.m. if wet weather is forecast.

Lock 4

Akron offers free music events on Wednesdays at this gathering area as part of the Lock Bottom Blues & Jazz Club. To access the area, from Lock 3 walk behind the Akron Civic Theatre. It’s also accessible from Bowery Street and Level 2 of the Cascade Parking Garage. All concerts will begin at 7 p.m., with refreshments available for purchase:

July 10: Wanda Hunt Band

July 17: The Steelheaders

July 24: Dan Wilson Group

July 31: Rooster Jones

Aug. 7: Red Light Roxy

Aug. 14: Vernon Jones Blues Cartel

Aug. 21: Esto Jazz

Aug. 28: Blue Lunch

This summer will also feature the return of local gospel music acts on Gospel Sundays at 5 p.m. at Lock 4:

July 28: St. John CME Inspirational Choir

Aug. 4: Exalting Him Choir

Aug. 11: Henry Dunn’s Road the Glory on the Road

Aug. 18: Carla Davis featuring Ken McCorvey and Friends

Aug. 25: The House of the Lord Kingdom Worship Choir

Sept. 1: Mount Calvary Baptist Church Choir


The free Children’s Concert Series will feature magic shows, animal shows and dance, along with music on Thursdays at 11 a.m. at Boettler Park, 5300 Massillon Road. All performances will be held in the Freda-Hunter Bates Pavilion next to Heritage Hill playground. Some picnic table seating is available, but attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. In the event of inclement weather, go to www.cityofgreen.org for cancellation information:

June 6: Roots to Rhythm

June 13: Outback Ray’s Amazing Animal Show

June 20: Shizzle Dizzle Magic Show

June 27: Ed McDade Music

July 11: E & J Reptile Show

July 18: 8 Count Dance

July 25: Jason Huneke Magic Show


The city will host its third annual free Classic Car Show with music July 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Columbia Woods Park, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive. The rain date is July 18.


Shown is a concert at Springfield Lake Park this past summer.
Photo: Lew Stamp
The Springfield Rocks concert series continues this year on most Friday nights. Concerts will begin at 7 p.m. and end by 9 p.m. No animals or alcohol is allowed at the concerts, which take place at Springfield Lake Park on Canfield Road. Children younger than 18 must be supervised. For more information, call 330-794-1739. Aug. 19 is a rain date in case of any canceled concerts.

June 7: Greased Lightning

June 14: Remember When

June 21: Colin Dussault’s Blues Project

June 28: Remembering Elvis Live

July 5: Rock the Docks Festival and Marshall Law

July 12: Phil ’n the Blanks

July 19: Bluegrass Mountaineers

July 26: Get Back

Aug. 2: Sunset Country

Aug. 9: Rudy and the Professionals

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