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BLOOMINGTON — If you're looking for something to do with Dad this weekend, consider heading downtown for some music in a very relaxing setting.  

The Summer Solstice Concert Series, with local opening acts and national headliners, returns Friday and Saturday nights to the lawn at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

The concert series, in its second year has been, "scaled back a little bit," said Ann-Marie Dittmann, assistant performing arts manager for the BCPA. "We're not doing a whole day of events. We are just doing evenings."

Free family Sunday afternoon concerts featuring country music on the BCPA lawn have been added to this year's schedule.

The series opens at 6 p.m. Friday, with Shuga Beatz taking the stage ahead of  headliner Harmonious Wail, a band that bills itself as a gypsy jazz trio. They will take the stage at 7 p.m. with music that includes the hot club sounds of Paris, the deep blues of the Memphis Delta, and the folk scenes across "every town" America, says the BCPA.

"On Saturday, we're going to rock it out a little bit more," said Dittman.

Stone & Snow will open at 6 p.m. Saturday. followed at 7 p.m. by headliner Femmes of Rock, a female quartet of classically trained musicians performing  the music of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Queen, Pink Floyd and other groups on electric violins and bass cellos.

They have performed with Beyonce, Shakira, Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli and Cheap Trick.

"It's a really high-energy, fun show," said Dittman.

The event started out in 2015  as the Bloomington Beer Fest, but "we decided (in 2017) with all of the beer festivals in Bloomington and Normal that was something that we didn't need to do," said Dittman. "But it's still great to have concerts out on the lawn. Part of the mission of the BCPA is to have outdoor festivals as part of programming."

"It will be lot of fun to go out with your dad on Friday and Saturday night and enjoy some music and drink a beer or a glass of wine or some other beverage and just sit on the BCPA lawn," said Dittman.

"We will still have craft beer available. We'll have Destihl as well as White Oaks and other craft beers that we normally have at the BCPA," said Dittman. Food truck fare and other snacks also will be on sale.

Gates open at 5 p.m. both days. Admission each night is $20, or $35 for a two-day pass that must be purchased in advance at the BCPA ticket office.

On Sunday, local country musician Chris Corkery will open at noon for Nashville country music duo Towne, who will perform from about 1 to 2 p.m.

Food trucks will not be on hand Sunday, but ice cream can be purchased from the Mr. Softee ice cream truck.

"You can bring a picnic lunch Sunday, which is Father's Day itself," said Dittman. "We will sell soda, snacks and chips, but not the beer and wine for the free concert in the afternoon."

Contact Maria Nagle at (309) 820-3244. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle


Bloomington Reporter

Bloomington reporter for The Pantagraph.

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