Multiple bands to perform at Niles summer concerts

Published 9:54 am Monday, May 13, 2019

NILES — Last year, Niles resident Caryn Adler helped to revive a summer-long series of concerts in Riverfront Park, drawing crowds to listen and dance to a variety of bands across genres.

With warmer weather approaching, the Summer Concert Series will return. This year, the stage will see bands that enchanted listeners last summer as well as new artists, too.

The concerts will kick off at 6 p.m. June 6 at the Riverfront Park amphitheater. The series will continue at 6 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 29. The shows are free and open to the public to attend.

“If they haven’t [visited the concert] before, I think they will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of entertainment,” Adler said. “I hope they will realize how relaxing and restorative it is to get away from the daily grind and perhaps revisit some musical memories.”

An additional component to the concerts is raising awareness for local nonprofits. Each band helps to select a cause. During the show, those who attend are invited to make donations to support that nonprofit. Some of the nonprofits who will benefit this year include the Ruff & Tumble Dog Park, Meals on Wheels of Southwest Michigan and Berrien County Cancer Service, to name a few.

Adler also encouraged those who attend to bring classroom supplies in August, which will be collected for a teacher supply drive.

“Teachers spend so much of their own money [for the classroom],” Adler said.

Alder grew up listening to bands play at Eastside Park before the Summer Concert Series went on a hiatus. Her family would pack up a cooler, grab some lawn chairs and spread out on the grass to enjoy a summer day. It is this kind of memory Adler said she hopes to inspire for other families.

“[I’m] looking for a way for families to reconnect and disconnect — disconnect from electronics and reconnect with each other about the music of the parents or the grandparents’ childhood,” Adler said. “And just that small-town pace, where you do talk to your neighbors at the concert or on your front porch.”

This year, she said she looks forward to bringing several new bands to the stage, such as Kennedy’s Kitchen — a locally known Irish-inspired band playing pub songs and sing-a-longs. Another new artist to the series is Justin McCormick. McCormick is a 16-year-old Nashville Recording Artist.

A few surprises are also in the works. Adler said the Niles Summer Concert Series board has for a Fourth of July celebration which will be announced at a later date.

“We have something really special planned, more than just a single concert,” Adler said. “There will be food involved.”

The concert series is supported through the sponsorships of local businesses and residents. Adler, an adult services team member at the Niles District Library, encouraged people to call her at the library if they are interested in a sponsorship.

“Sponsorships can be made in any amount,” Adler said. “No amount is too small. Every amount helps.”

Businesses that sponsor the series will be recognized by having their name included in all promotional materials.

For Adler, another goal in the Summer Concert Series is providing a space for local artists to perform and share their craft and bring more people to downtown Niles.

The Niles Summer Concert Series board is working toward nonprofit status. Those interested in sponsoring a concert are asked to reach out to Adler by calling (269) 683-8545 extension 112.

“My goal is to continue to build on what we have done before, bring in new groups and favorite old groups and get families here,” Adler said.

To learn more about the Niles Summer Concert Series, visit the event’s Facebook page.