While organizers of some local concert series hold out hope of a summer with some semblance of normalcy, others have made the call to cancel their events.
Eric Kaelin, owner of WAWL (103.5 FM) in Grand Haven, announced last week that he was canceling his Sounds of Summer music series, which features concerts each Tuesday and Wednesday at Bolt Park and Pottawattomie Park.
“It’s pretty obvious with what’s going on that we don’t want to be responsible for putting groups of people together, whether it’s 50, 100, 200,” he said. “That’s not responsible on our part and not responsible for the bands. It’s gut wrenching. You hate doing it. But we’re doing it for the greater good.”
The concerts were slated to begin June 16-17 and continue through Aug. 4-5.
“We’ve been doing them for six years now,” Kaelin said. “I feel bad, but I feel it’s the responsible thing to do for everybody.”
John Roberts at WGHN (92.1 FM) in Grand Haven said their concert series, which takes place Tuesdays in Central Park, will not start on time.
“It looks like what we’re going to have to do is postpone it through June and July,” he said. “We’re hoping to have four concerts in August, but that could change, too. We’ve talked extensively with all the proper departments and amongst ourselves – and right now, for the safety of everybody, we feel it’s best to postpone it until August.”
Organizers for Dancing on the Grand are hoping their season is able to start as planned on June 10.
“We just had a committee meeting Tuesday, and our next meeting is May 26,” organizer Debbie Spetoskey said last week. “We’ll have to wait and see what the (Grand Haven) City Council will let us do. So far, no decision has been made. We have all our bands lined up. We just have to wait and see.”
Worship on the Waterfront is slated to begin its 2020 season on June 21.
The 20th Unity Christian Music Festival, scheduled for August, has been canceled, according to director Kevin Newton.
“Based on the current COVID/quarantine situation and the restrictions on events, we are very sad to announce the Unity Christian Music Festival 20th Anniversary Celebration will not be taking place this summer, but will be rescheduled for August 11-14, 2021,” Newton said. “While we know this news is a huge disappointment to many families in West Michigan, we also believe that this one time change will only make it more special when we are together again next year. With the COVID-19 situation still very much driving many decisions, we do not want to ask our fans, artists, staff, volunteers or vendors to take any of the risks that may come from a huge event.”
Newton added that the 20th year of Unity was planned to be a special celebration as one of the country’s largest Christian music events, as well as the milestone achievement of donating a total of $1 million to area Christian ministries.