Robert Bartko, the lead singer of the George Michael Reborn group, played at the Orland Park Concert Series last summer. The series will return in 2022. Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park

Robert Bartko, the lead singer of the George Michael Reborn group, performs at the Orland Park Concert Series last summer. The series will return in 2022. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Orland Park)

Orland Park officials see concert series making money in coming years

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By Jeff Vorva

The Orland Park Concert Series will be a go for 2022 and village officials know there will be some money lost on the deal but think the payoffs will come in future years.

The board of trustees unanimously approved a three-concert series package for this year at Centennial Park West similar to a package offered in 2021 in which there will be various prices depending on residency and if patrons want to buy tickets for all three concerts.

Staff from the Recreations and Park Department now have gone to work securing talent for the shows.

The prices will be $75 for a resident presale package for all three shows, a $90 three-show package to the general public, a $70 two-date package plus a $40 day-of-show price tag. The village will continue to offer $250 tickets for groups of 10.

Announcements on who will be performing will come in future weeks.

According to village documents, Orland Park is bracing for a possible $384,250 loss, though that figure could fluctuate depending on sponsorship and ticket sales. Last year, the series lost $243,519 and some of the losses occurred because of expenses paid due to the cancelled Scott Stapp concert because of poor weather conditions.

The series was wiped out because of COVID-19 in 2020, but the village still lost close to $80,000. The village held free concerts that year with local bands and that lost a little more than $73,000.

The first paid rock concert held at the park in 2019 had Loverboy headlining and that lost $112,053, according to village records.

Officials point out that the potential for making money down the line and bringing more people to the village to spend money in town are reasons to take the financial hits early in the endeavor.

“We knew we would be in the red for a little bit,” Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said. “Obviously, COVID didn’t help. We’re taking a step in the right direction and we’re getting a lot more interest from bands.”

“As we grow and grow our reputation, the list of artists to choose from is much better than last year,” added Ray Piattoni, the head of the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Loverboy headlined in 2019. Stapp, Blue Oyster Cult and Tommy James were slated for 2020 but cancelled due to the pandemic.

Stapp’s set was washed out in 2021, but Blue Oyster Cult played on, as did a trio of high-level tribute bands for Queen, George Michael and Prince.

“I’ve attended all of the concerts over the past few years and from my view it’s well worth it,” Trustee Sean Kampas said. “Those in attendance have enjoyed them and I believe this concert series has the potential to grow into something greater.

“We’re excited to see it moving forward. It’s going to take an investment from the village to build our reputation to attract high-level talent.”

Kampas also pointed out that the popular Taste of Orland Park event took years until it stopped losing money and is now in the black.

Vets host Apple event

The Orland Park Veterans Commission has partnered with Apple Chevrolet to host a Military Care Package Event throughout the day on Friday.

This event will provide essential care items for active military personnel. Community members can participate by donating care package items or volunteering to prepare the care packages.

Donations can be delivered to Apple Chevrolet, 8585 W. 159th St. in Tinley Park, on the day of the event. For those unable to attend, donations can be delivered to Village Hall and the Village of Orland Park Sportsplex or donated through an Amazon Wish List organized by Apple Chevrolet.

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