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Put some love in your summer at The Ridgefield Playhouse

Former Styx member Glen Burtnik and ensemble sing of peace, love, and harmony

The Summer of Love tour appears at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, July 31, at 4 p.m. For more information and tickets visit

The Summer of Love tour appears at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, July 31, at 4 p.m. For more information and tickets visit

Ridgefield Playhouse

Despite being the ideal target age for the breakout of The Beatles in the United States through the Summer of Love in 1969, Glen Burtnik didn’t make it to Woodstock. 

“I was about 12 and I had the chance to go — my brother went, but I wasn’t home,” Burtnik said. 

It’s a decision he doesn’t regret.

“My brother said it was horrible,” he said, laughing. “Muddy and crowded.”

Of course, the musical performances at Woodstock were and remain legendary, and that style and genre of music inspired Burtnik throughout his career — the undertones appear in all his songwriting. 

As an alumnus of Styx, a touring bassist/vocalist with the current version of Electric Light Orchestra, a founding member of The Orchestra, and a member of The Weeklings, Burtnik is, above all else, a major solo recording artist and hit songwriter.

His exposure to that era began with The Beatles’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” His love of the band continues to endure — he even played Paul McCartney in the original Broadway production of “Beatlemania.” 

Despite being a big Beatles fan — and meeting McCartney and Ringo Starr — Burtnik has yet to play with them.

“But I’m not giving up hope yet!” he said. 

This musical influence led Burtnik to create the Summer of Love tour. Coming this Sunday to The Ridgefield Playhouse, the show isn’t just a concert — it’s an experience. It’s about 20 singers and entertainers who share in performing the classic rock and soul of the ’60s and ’70s — the “Woodstock Generation.” 

The show features a horn section, strings, keyboards, background singers, and an incredible rhythm section enhanced by an exciting light and video show, which faithfully recreate the psychedelic spirit of that era.

The music includes classic artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Joe Cocker, Carlos Santana, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Temptations, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Band, Jefferson Airplane, Curtis Mayfield, The Association, The Turtles, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas, Grateful Dead, Country Joe, Procol Harum, Melanie, Ike and Tina Turner, The Rascals, Chicago, Otis Redding, Sly & The Family Stone, and more.

Burtnik said the joy of the music is emphasized by the incredible dynamic of the performers on the tour.

“We just get along so well. We love each other and have such a good time,” he said. He added that live music, especially this genre, can “uplift and unify people.”

“I will say that music is magic. When everyone is singing and having a good time, it’s hard to feel displeasure. It’s like a dopamine effect. Especially this music — the message of peace, love, and happiness is such a lovely sentiment,” he said. 

And audiences tend to agree. Burtnik said while many attendees are of the Woodstock Generation, he’s inspired when he sees younger fans singing along to songs recorded well before their time.

“I just love that,” he said.

Burtnik added that the Summer of Love tour is a family-friendly show where parents or even grandparents can introduce the younger generations to their favorite songs.

In addition to enjoying the music, Burtnik is also entertained by audience members who dress in their ’60s or ’70s best — whether they’re reliving treasured memories or experiencing the era for the first time. 

“We basically get into a time machine and blast backward,” he said.

Burtnik describes himself as a hippie at heart; he said the music played in the Summer of Love tour creates a healing environment for the audience.

“It’s such a sweet thing for people to be there in person, not staring at their phones, not staring at a screen, but watching people sing, and singing along right in front of you — really present in that moment,” he said. 

The Summer of Love tour appears at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, July 31, at 4 p.m. For more information and tickets visit