Keeping the whole family busy during the summer is a cost that can add up. But thanks to public programs being put on by area municipalities, all you’ll have to invest in is a comfy seat for an evening of entertainment.
The towns of Bethlehem, Colonie, Guilderland and New Scotland offer several chances to enjoy the outdoors while bands perform. The venues range from the lawn outside of a library to a performing arts center stage, but the low price of “free” remains the same. Established regional favorite bands will perform across Albany County, but some local musicians also get to hit the stage – some for the first time.
Check out a list of all the summer concerts in our blog entry Local summer concert series schedule for more information.
The Guilderland Performing Arts Center, known as GPAC, already kicked off its 34th annual summer concert series, with the Guilderland Town Band officially opening the season.
“There were times over the past 30 years … when people didn’t want to travel as much and there was a tendency to try to find things in your own town a little bit,” said Dennis Moore, director of the Guilderland Parks and Recreation Department. “It is very informal. You just show up in shorts and shirt and it is just a relaxing summer evening.”
Moore said larger acts, such as Hair of the Dog, have drawn more than 1,000 people to GPAC, but usually at least 200 to 300 turn out. The stage can also hold larger bands and shows because it is 70 feet across and 40 feet deep. He said a wide variety of music is booked to “appeal to a wide variety of people.”
“It has been a nice series over the years and it is a nice setting there in the park,” he said. “We have had different groups that cost more, but recently we try to be a little more conservative with money.”
The concerts are funded through a combination of municipalities, business sponsors or public donations. Moore said a donation jar is at every GPAC concert.
In contrast, the concert series at The Crossings in Colonie is sponsored by Joe Vellano and Vellano Brothers, Inc.
“I assure you, nothing beats listening to great music at The Crossings on a beautiful summer evening,” Colonie Town Supervisor Paula Mahan said in a statement.
Voorheesville Public Library’s “Together at Twilight Concert Series” features four bands and the last performance scheduled, Katsura, is donating its time to perform and will not be compensated.
Lynn Kohler, spokeswoman for the Voorheesville Library, said due to limited library funds it usually hosts two bands each year. This year it has four concerts. Friends of the Library provides funding for the concerts.
Popular bands like Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers can draw up to 70 people, Kohler said.
The Altamont Free Library sponsors the village’s summer concert series, which is held at the gazebo in Orsini Park. Library Director Judith Wines said the concert series, while serving village residents, attracts residents from all over the hilltowns.
“Altamont is a great area, but we are a little bit out there,” Wines said. “We wanted to have something that serves the hilltowns and the Altamont area.”