For each of the last nine summers, Darien residents have been treated to free concerts in Grove Street Plaza on Friday nights, and this year’s series is promising to be bigger and better than any before it. Join the celebration for the tenth summer of music on Grove Street Plaza. Darien Summer Nights has become a beloved summer tradition by residents of all ages.
The Darien Summer Nights Concert Series was launched by Darien residents David Genovese and Penny Glassmeyer, who head up Baywater Properties and Grove Street Plaza, respectively. During the winter of 2008-09 the two decided it was time to do something positive for residents who would be staying around town because of the unsettled economic climate, and to encourage them to shop locally and support Darien’s merchants. Borrowing from the successful Alive at Five Concert Series in Stamford, Baywater Properties and Grove Street Plaza sponsored a concert series in the summer of 2009 that was held in various venues around downtown.
The first night of the series will be Friday, June 22. A number of new bands have been added to the series, which will run through Sept. 21. The returning musicians performing over the course of this summer will include, Bad Dog Buddy, Kind Bud, Harry Bergen with Mods & Rockers, CC: Legend, Gunsmoke, Ratso and Friends, Leslie Costa’s Cinnamon Girl, Barnstorm!, Doug Allen, Wingmen, Free Flow and The Spadtastics.
This season, Darien Summer Nights will introduce three new bands performing in the concert series. On June 29, Summer Nights welcomes Sugar Bear. Last season they wowed the crowd when they filled in for a band whose leader singer came down with laryngitis. After amazing reviews, the series founders are thrilled to add them on the line up. On Aug. 24, Summer Nights will hosts its first big band group performance. The Bob Button Band, who has played throughout the area, will be gracing Grove Street Plaza with their incredible sound. The third new band will perform on Sept. 7. Exit Ramp is well known for their lively mix of chart topping songs sure to get the crowd dancing. Residents are encouraged to come to Grove Street Plaza from 6 pm, and then to have dinner in one of downtown Darien’s great restaurants.
On Aug. 31, there will be a very special concert featuring Free Flow and The Spadtastics who will perform at Tilley Pond Park. This concert will to benefit the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, a non-profit founded by Darien native, Scarlett Lewis. After losing her son Jesse in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Scarlett has taken her son’s message left on the chalkboard in their kitchen, “nurturing, healing and love” to create a movement to bring love and health into our schools. For more information on Scarlett and The Choose Love Foundation, please see her inspiring story and message at www.jesselewischooselove.org
David Genovese commented, “Penny and I are grateful for the broad support we have received over the last number of years in our efforts to work with the Planning & Zoning Commission and the various Town boards and volunteer organizations in improving the downtown, and we wanted to find a way to say thank you. We also wanted to remind residents of the importance of supporting our local merchants. These events are being offered free of charge…all that we are ask for in return is that people do their best to support local retailers and business owners. If you have a choice, dine or shop locally, because by doing so you are helping create a more vibrant downtown for Darien, and you enable all of us to give back in this way.”
Baywater and Grove Street Plaza have initiated a marketing campaign for “Darien Summer Nights” that includes newspaper inserts; local advertising; a social media program through Facebook where people can post comments and pictures; and a dedicated website, www.dariensummernights.com, with updates and additional information.