Free outdoor concerts slated to return throughout the region

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Children’s musical performer Matt Heaton

By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer

REGION – Free outdoor concerts are synonymous with summer – except for in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. Now with relaxed outdoor guidelines, free musical entertainment is slated to return throughout the region from June to September. 

At least one town is also offering free outdoor movies.

Guidelines and updates

The event organizers are following state guidelines, which are subject to change. 

Concert-goers are encouraged to frequently check for updates on the organizers’ websites and social media. In addition to statewide safety guidelines, local concert updates could include the bands, the dates and inclement weather cancelations.

Grafton

Last summer, Grafton Recreation presented one concert. Recreation Director Jen Andersen is looking forward to the town’s seven performances this summer.

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Boombox: the ‘70s & ‘80s Experience

“Now, more than ever, people want to come out and see some normalcy,” she noted. “It will be fun to see everything back in action.”

Grafton’s concerts’ site is also subject to change. The past years’ concert series took place at Grafton Common, which is amid restoration.

Andersen explained, “We’d like to get the concerts back to the Common. Our backup plan is Nelson Park.”

Performances are Wednesdays, beginning at 6:30 p.m.: July 14, Beatles for Sale; July 21, Buzztones Rhythm Revue; July 28, The Midtown Horns; Aug. 4, Boombox: the ‘70s & ‘80s Experience; Aug. 11, Band from UNCLE; Aug. 18, Big Chief Band; and Aug. 25, Claflin Hill Symphony.

The concert series is supported in part by the Grafton Cultural Council. 

Hudson

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Larry Bee and the Buzz, classic ‘60s hits

Hudson Recreation’s concerts are Wednesdays, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at Wood Park: June 23, The Keith Jacques Experience; July 7, The Midtown Horns; July 21, The Angry Bees; Aug. 4, Trak Down; and Aug. 18, Larry Bee and the Buzz.

Also taking place at Wood Park are music shows geared for young children: These family-friendly concerts are scheduled Thursdays, beginning at noon: June 24, Jeannie Mack; July 15, Matt Heaton; and Aug. 5, Rick Goldin with puppets.

Marlborough 

Mayor Arthur Vigeant and the Marlborough Recreation Department traditionally present concerts Thursdays, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Union Common. 

Trish Bernard, the mayor’s executive aide, confirmed by email, “We plan to hold outdoor summer concerts.”

Check for updates online.

Northborough 

The Northborough Community Affairs Committee (NCAC) organizes a concert series, typically held at Ellsworth-McAffee Park. 

NCAC Chair Suzy Familo Cieslica noted via email, “We are having a concert series this summer. … We are still arranging dates.”

Check for updates online. 

Shrewsbury

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Beatles for Sale, tribute band

On Sunday, Sept. 12, from 2 to 4 p.m., Beatles for Sale will entertain concert goers at Dean Park. The performance is co-sponsored by Shrewsbury Parks and Recreation with Friends of the Shrewsbury Public Library.

Providing monetary support are the Shrewsbury Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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Knock on Wood, acoustic folk-rock duo

 Southborough 

Southborough Recreation’s concerts are Wednesdays, from 6 to 8 p.m., on the grounds of Margaret A. Neary Elementary School: June 30, Knock on Wood; July 14, SloGrass; July 28, Hit the Bus; and Aug. 11, Dan Gabel and the Abletones.

The concert series is supported by the Southborough Cultural Council. Food trucks are expected to be available.

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SloGrass, acoustic Americana

Also scheduled at the Neary School field are free outdoor movies Wednesdays, beginning at dusk: July 7, “The Lion King” (2019); July 21, “The Sandlot”; Aug. 4, “Onward”; and Aug. 18, “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

The movie series is sponsored by Main Street Bank, Friends of Southborough Recreation and Southborough Community Fund. An ice cream truck is traditionally onsite. 

Westborough 

Westborough Recreation’s concerts are Tuesdays, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Bay State Commons: July 13, Throwback to the ‘60s; July 27, St80um, 1980s rock tribute band; and Aug. 10, The Midtown Horns.

A food truck is expected to be available.

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St80um, 1980s rock tribute band