Ziggy Marley one of many big names to play free Wed. concert series in Avon
Free shows start June 19 in Nottingham Park
Avon’s free summer concert series has been expanded into June this year, and in addition to headliner Ziggy Marley scheduled for the July 3 Salute to the USA event, there’s lots of top-level talent to enjoy on Wednesdays in Nottingham Park.
The Avon Live summer concert series will kick off on Wednesday, June 19, with the Shook Twins and will continue on Wednesday, June 25 with La Misa Negra.
With July 3 falling on a Wednesday this year, Avon’s biggest annual event — the Berkshire Hathaway Salute to the USA in Harry A. Nottingham Park — will collide with the concert series to bring one of the most renowned performers ever to grace the Avon stage. Eight-time Grammy Award-winner Ziggy Marley is scheduled to play at 7:45 p.m., with opening act the Hazel Miller Band performing starting at 5:45 p.m.
On July 10, Pato Banton & The Now Generation will play Avon Live, followed by the March Fourth Marching Band on July 17. Lindsay Lou is scheduled to play on July 31. Two more Avon Live concerts have been scheduled for July 24 and Aug. 14, with acts yet to be announced.
Marley was in talks for a show in Avon a couple of years ago, but the act slipped through the town’s fingers, frustrating some.
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Council member Jake Wolf was among the frustrated.
On Tuesday, however, Wolf said he was feeling a level of optimism he hadn’t felt in years in Avon.
“I feel like the town is on a great karma recovery path right now,” Wolf said, describing Marley’s performance as “Karma coming back.”
Another big piece of karma coming back, Wolf said, is the fact Danita Dempsey, who ran special events in Avon from 2006 to 2017, will return to her former post starting in early June.
New Town Manager Eric Heil, who started in late April, said he’s been on a big learning curve with regard to special events in Avon, but he’s feeling good about the town’s summer plans.
“I think we’re going to have a good set-up for our events director to start next week, so that we’re giving her a better than even chance to have a successful summer when she comes on board,” Heil said.
Avon enlisted in the help of producer Michael O’Brien, with Peak Performances, to secure Marley and the other Avon Live acts for this summer.
The town got a late start in planning the concert series, Wolf said, but it came together nicely.
“We started doing this in April, and most municipalities who get this caliber of artists, they’re starting in October,” Wolf said.
O’Brien said the late start wasn’t ideal, but it didn’t end up holding his firm back too much.
“It’s always good to have more time to make things happen,” O’Brien said. “It’s not a super rare thing, but it’s a little bit out of the norm to crunch things in a shorter period than you’d like.”
O’Brien said as always, there was a little luck involved, as well.
“I’d like to take all the credit,” he said with a laugh. “But the chips were falling in the right place.”