The summer of music

How are you? I mean, really, how are you? I hope you are all well and adjusting to some “normalcy” and taking time to enjoy it. I, for one, am looking forward to this summer, which has numerous happenings happening in person!

For music lovers, both Southwick and Westfield have a lot to offer.

Southwick Rotary has brought back its Free Summer Concert Series at Whalley Park. The concerts kick-off July 14 with the Rich Badowski Band and continue every Wednesday through Aug. 25. A special “float-in” concert returns for the second consecutive year featuring the Mac & Vinnie Band performing on South Pond Sept. 1.

I do not own a boat but I may need to tag a long with someone who does for the float-in show, which was first hosted last year during the pandemic as a way to keep concerts alive and still socially distance. It was so popular, Rotary brought it back again.

In Westfield, there are free concerts every Friday in the lot next to Mina’s Spirits on Elm Street. Hosted by ArtWorks, the shows are BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) and offer a variety of regional artists. There are also vendors on site selling food and beer/wine. I have it on good authority that last week’s kick-off show was a great time, with a great band.

Westfield also has four major concerts – for free – this summer in the field behind the Boys & Girls Club. Originally a ticketed event, it is now free for all and donations are accepted for Westfield on Weekends and the Westfield Kiwanis at the shows. The series starts July 24 with the Killer Queen Experience, a Queen tribute band. On Aug. 5, The Big 80s Dance Party takes the stage, in September, the sound of Santana will be heard by tribute band Jingo, and the series ends Oct. 16 at PumpkinFest with Rewind to Vinyl, playing songs from the 60s-90s.

Last summer was, well, as unusual as the rest of the year has been. But for live music lovers it was a bust. So this year, I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free live music opportunities in our community and spread the word that music is back! If you know of other free, public shows in our community, send me a note to [email protected] so we can help get the word out.


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