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The City Journals

Summer concert series is back featuring Utah artists

Jun 17, 2021 02:52PM ● By Sarah Morton Taggart

Based in Provo, The Bird Watchers have performed at ukulele festivals around the globe. (Photo courtesy Midvale Arts Council)

By  Sarah Morton Taggart | [email protected]

After a quiet year, the Midvale Summer Concert Series is back.

Nine free concerts will be held every Friday at Midvale City Park from June 18 through Aug.13.

The series will open with James Romero y Los Amigos Three Generations, a traditional Latin band with a twist of rock, country and pop. 

The rest of the season is as follows:

  • June 25: The 23rd Army Band
  • July 2: Vocalocity, an a cappella group
  • July 9: Channel Z’s ’80’s Night
  • July 16: The Walker Brothers, Midvale’s homegrown trio
  • July 23: The LaBarons, a family vocals group
  • July 30: 9021YO!, taking a trip back to the ’90s
  • Aug. 6: Exit Strategy, a rock trio, kicking off Harvest Days
  • Aug. 13: The Bird Watchers, an acoustic trio featuring ukuleles

All concerts start at 7 p.m.

With the pandemic still around, the arts council asks that attendees maintain social distancing. Sanitation stations will be made available for patrons and other measures will be taken, following the mandates of both county and city governments. 

One thing to keep in mind this year is that there will be no food sold during the events. The arts council recommends planning ahead and bringing food and drink with you. Even better, they say, make sure you visit one of Midvale’s great restaurants and get your food from them.

“This was a wild ride, putting the series together,” said board member Bob Bedore. “In the past Melanie Beardall was in charge of the festival, but she stepped down after many great years of service and we all knew we had big shoes to fill. We wanted to come up with a series that she would be proud of, and we had to do it quickly.”

The concert series has been a big part of Midvale summers for years but had to be canceled in 2020 due to COVID restrictions. Instead, the arts council worked hard to produce a steady stream of interactive, online content, including a Fourth of July program and a virtual winter holiday concert. 

The council got the green light to go live and in person again in March and worked quickly to put together a lineup. Past years have featured bands from throughout the West, but this year’s talent all hail from Utah.

Bedore and fellow board member Jason Wild knew that they’d not only have less time to put the series together, but also a smaller budget. Their plan was to go through the great local bands in Utah and find a good mix of styles. It was quickly called “The Best of Utah” series and Bedore and Wild are excited with the talent they were able to book. 

“I was so happy when one of the groups I really wanted signed on,” said Bedore, referring to The Bird Watchers, a band that auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” under their old name, The Naked Waiters. “The first time I heard their unique style of ukuleles and harmonies I had to bring them to Midvale. The crowd is going to love them.”