Mayor Brown excited to bring summer concert series to Orangeville

August 21, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

“It’s time for people to have some fun,” said Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown about the scheduled Drive-in Concerts planned over the next week. The Camp Fire Poets open and close the string of events, starting Friday (Aug. 21) and ending on Aug. 28. 

Orangeville loves its theatre and live events but 2020 has been dour, with COVID-19 closing the whole run of fun down, shuttering the doors on our favourite theatre, and cancelling any and all planned musical performances. 

Mayor Brown took a few minutes to discuss the upcoming series with the Citizen, expressing his belief that are many reasons why the Town decided to push forward with the event. 

He began, “I think the success of the Town’s movie night, showing Frozen 2, which was a sell-out, and by all reports a good evening. That’s when we started to percolate. We have a very robust music scene in Orangeville and many of the musicians have not had a pay cheque in five months. It’d be good to get a jingle in the pockets of some of our very fine musicians.”

As previously stated, first up on stage is the popular Campfire Poets, who play Friday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Rotary Park. Leisa Way will then take centre stage as the Rhinestone Cowgirl on Saturday, bringing the music of Dolly Parton to life from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

“The Camp Fire Poets and Leisa Way, both incredible professionals and Leisa always impresses with her terrific shows,” Mayor Brown said. 

There is a day show planned for Sunday, with country artist Ty Baynton performing on stage from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Next week, starting Wednesday (Aug. 26), Leisa Way will once again take to the stage, this time with The Wayward Wind Band. Local residents will have the opportunity to ‘Rock the Night Away’ from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Then, on Thursday (Aug. 27), the rock-a-riffic Itchy and Scratchy Show will be front and centre, playing from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Campfire Poets will then close out the series next Friday, with a second show from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. 

Tickets are only being sold in advance, and are available online. The cost to attend a show is $25 per car. 

“The town is running the tickets through Theatre Orangeville, but they are sold on the town’s website too,” Mayor Brown said.

Discussing how the whole thing came about, Mayor Brown says it was something of a joint effort on behalf of the Town and some of our more well-connected residents. 

He assured us, “For the entertainment, the Town did reach out to some of these folks. When David [Nairn, Artistic Director of Theatre Orangeville] and I first started talking about this, whom we could approach, he made the suggestion of Leisa. People will be very, very happy to see Leisa again.

The Summer Concert Series is presented by the Town, with Theatre Orangeville providing performing management. Community Living Dufferin will be on site with its BSocial Café, providing snacks to local residents. 

One thing that is important to note is, due to ongoing provincial restrictions, those in attendance will have to remain in their vehicles.

“We’ve already checked with public health: you have to be in your car, keep within your bubble. So, there’s no dancing outside, which people will want to with some of the bands.”

He related, “At a concert someplace else, I heard that people had come in their trucks and backed them to face the stage; they put chairs in the back, so, everyone could watch the show. Maybe here, they’ll be dancing in the trucks.”

Considerable technology is involved in the staging of the six concerts. A purpose built stage has been constructed on site, with large video screen put in place. There will also be an FM transmitter, which will be broadcasting the shows on radio.

While the weather forecast is looking positive this weekend, the shows will run barring a catastrophic weather event, Mayor Brown said.

“These are going ahead rain or shine,” the Mayor told us. ”There’s a roof over the stage. About $25,000 has come in from sponsors. E. Hoffman Plastics have been great – they’re the presenting sponsor. Then, other sponsors: this demonstrates the great spirit of community in this town.”

The concerts are being held at Rotary Park, where parking for 90 vehicles will face the stage, set up for the shows. 

So, what does this impressive lineup of local entertainment mean to Orangeville’s Mayor?

“I think it’s time for residents of Orangeville to break out of our COVID-19 constraints and, safely, mind you, have some fun. The town is already talking about another movie night, but I’ve been so focused to put this together. There’s going to be some fantastic shows.”

He commented, “The stage is a really slick set up. The company makes them out of Quebec. If we owned one, the number of events you could hold; rent it out to the Blues and Jazz and renting it out to other organizations. The possibilities are endless.”

In recognition of their fine work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Brown said there will be some free passes made available to frontline health care workers. 

For tickets the link Be a bit patient with it and all is revealed. Here we go: party time in Orangeville at last.

– with files from Mike Baker


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