Summer Concerts Grooves Back to TC

Wednesday night series begins June 14

Download the concert schedule here

Grab your dancing shoes and get over your inhibitions—one of Temple City’s prized annual traditions, the outdoor summer concert series, returns for 12 weeks beginning June 14.

Designed to spotlight genres as wide ranging as classic rock and disco, the series will bring the community together at Temple City Park each Wednesday evening through Aug. 23.

“We’ve continually set the bar high with our concert series,” said Debbie Ingram, who has overseen coordination of the series for nearly 20 of its 21 consecutive years. 

This summer’s program includes crowd favorites like the nationally recognized Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute group Fortunate Son (June 28), Elvis Presley impersonator Raymond Michael (July 12), classic oldies rockers Tommy Tassi & the Authentics (Aug. 16) and Motown cover band Stone Soul (Aug. 23).

First-timers to take the Temple City stage, meanwhile, run the gamut from soul performers Dallas & Doll, set to open the series June 14, to The Replicas Band, a variety act scheduled for June 21. Also new this year are special preshow acts featuring title-winning musicians, dancers and other performers from the inaugural edition of Temple City’s Got Talent.

According to Ingram, organizing the annual series is “almost a year-round operation.”

She begins booking bands for each subsequent summer in September. “Our goal is to have our entire lineup confirmed by October, if not sooner, so that we have first pick of the bands,” she explained.

“We have our crowd favorites, which we book well in advance of the following year,” Ingram continued. “But we’re also looking for two to four different acts each year, and that means going outside the San Gabriel Valley to seek new bands so that we don’t have a concert lineup similar to surrounding cities’.” In past years, she’s turned to cities like Temecula, San Diego and Santa Barbara to discover fresh acts with strong local followings.

With its large crowds, the Temple City series has been known to reward artists with legions of new fans, making it a major draw for up-and-comers. “We have a lot of bands that send us their demos and contact us because they want to play here,” Ingram said. “We can’t take everybody, so we have to be selective.”

She also described the series’ location as a boon for musical acts looking to make their onstage debuts. “I’m not just saying this because I work here,” Ingram added. “Comparatively speaking to other area venues, Temple City Park is beautiful.”

The bands aren’t the only ones who have noticed. Over the past two decades, attendance at the outdoor performances has grown from a couple hundred to more than 1,500 per week.

“I’m amazed at how many people come out on Wednesday nights for our concerts,” said Cathy Burroughs, director of parks and recreation. “Everyone enjoys the concert series because the bands are great, the setting is wonderful and it just brings the community together. I’ll see the same people in the same locations every Wednesday; in most cases, it’s those people who stake out their spots in front the performing arts pavilion as early as 7 a.m. each concert morning.

“We have the most extensive concert series in the area, usually 10 to 12 weeks while most other cities only offer six to eight weeks,” Burroughs added. “We’re lucky that we have all kinds of support—political, community and financial—for our concert series.”

Staging each performance costs between $1,500 and $2,500, which is partially offset by generous sponsors whose contributions have allowed for increasingly diverse audiences and rosters of performers.

“We’re seeing more families at the concerts, from toddlers to grandparents,” Ingram said. “The older crowd is loving some of the stuff you’d think they never would. They’re not just wanting big band or oldies anymore—they like disco and classic rock.”

Admission is free and open to everyone. No smoking, alcohol or dogs are permitted in the concert area. This year, several nonprofit organizations will sell food and snack items on the premises to raise funds for their respective causes.

The summer concert series runs Wednesday nights from June 14 through Aug. 23, with each show beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, call (626) 285-2171, ext. 4515.

Posted: May 25, 2017