Promoter Katie Goggin discusses the Countryside Summer Concert series. She has to book acts well in advance. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Promoter Katie Goggin discusses the Countryside Summer Concert series. She has to book acts well in advance. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Countryside plans summer concert series, bluegrass festival

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By Steve Metsch 

It might be winter, but it’s never too soon to talk about summertime music.

Such was the case Jan. 11 when the Countryside City Council’s Special Events Committee heard from promoter Katie Goggin regarding the city’s annual Summer Concert Series.

The committee also heard about the second annual Bluegrass and Brews Festival from Sharon Peterson, deputy city clerk and assistant city administrator.

dvn countryside summer concert logoTo say the lineup for the summer concert series is diverse is putting it lightly.

All sorts of musical genres will be represented in the eight concerts set for 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights from June 15 to Aug. 3 at Countryside Park.

“It’s a great lineup,” Goggin said.

Goggin has to book acts now because so many towns and villages – including Lyons, Stickney and Brookfield – have summer concert series.

Here’s a look at the schedule with a description of each from Goggin, founder and partner of Designer Event Chicago, based in Highland Park.

June 15: Mackenzie O’Brien Band. “They are a new band on the scene. Mackenzie O’Brien leads the band. Her roots are in the Midwest. They play current hits and some throwbacks, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings.”

June 22: Classical Blast. “We’ve had them once before in the concert series. … They’re a really cool band. They play all classical instruments but they play (the music of) AC/DC, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Phil Collins.”

June 29: Michael Charles Band. “He is an Australian-born blues musician/songwriter/guitarist/singer. He’s the blues aspect (of the series).”

July 6: The Special 20s. “They do Chicago blues, swing, rock ‘n’ roll from the 1950s, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells. Super fun band. High energy. Feels right for around the Fourth of July.”

July 13: Rosie & The Rivets. “Early rock, rockabilly, surf, soul, a little bit of everything. … They’ve played Countryside before. She’s a powerhouse of a singer.”

July 20: No Turn On Red. “They’re a horns-driven group playing funk from the early ‘60s to current music. They go from James Brown to Stevie Wonder to Maroon 5 to Bruno Mars, Earth Wind & Fire.”

July 27: Mellencougar. “As you can probably guess, this is a John Cougar Mellencamp tribute band. They have been around for a few years. …This could be a great way to transition into the fireworks that night. They’ve opened for national acts like Blake Shelton, The Spin Doctors and Styx.”

Aug. 3: Heartache Tonight. “They are, for sure, the best Eagles cover band in the Midwest. We’ve had them in Countryside. It’s been a few years. I thought it’d be a great way to wrap up the series.”

Aldermen agreed with her about the quality lined up.

“I think it sounds great. Nice job,” Ald. Mark Benson (3rd Ward) said.

“I think it’s a grand slam. Looking forward to summer,” Ald. John Von Drasek (2nd) said.

Committee chair Ald. Scott Musillami (3rd) said he’s happy with the lineup: “She does a good job. I think she stepped up. The quality of the bands is a little better.”

Goggin said fireworks are scheduled for after the Mellencougar concert on July 27 and will cost around $7,000, Goggin said. The rain date is Aug. 3.

Total pricing for bands is about $1,500 more than last year, she said. “All the bands are requiring a little more than in years past,” Goggin said.

Bands perform on a stage named for late Ald. Jim Jasinski (1st) who died in March 2021.

“We dedicated the bandshell to him. He embraced this. He loved the concerts, no doubt,” Musillami said.

Another musical event, the 2023 Bluegrass and Brews Festival, will be held in Countryside Park on Saturday, Aug. 26, Peterson said.

“We had a successful first year last year on Aug. 27. We wonderful turnout. The weather was great. It wasn’t too hot,” Peterson said.

It will be held from 3 to 9 p.m., she said.

She plans to contact with food truck companies so there won’t be a shortage of munchies as was experienced last August.

“It was a great event. That was the only thing at the end,” Von Drasek said.

The committee gave the green light to the date and for Peterson to start booking performers.

“Another home run,” Benson said of the Bluegrass and Brews Festival.

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