The much anticipated Montauk Chamber of Commerce’s free summer concert series, Concerts on the Green and Concerts in the Harbor, is back starting this week. A full lineup of local musicians has been slated to perform, filling out the series’ 18th year.
On Monday, the promise of rain canceled Ray Red’s two-hour spotlight. It has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 10.
Each summer, anywhere from 50 to 200 people, often including children and picnickers, turn out to hear the free concerts.
This year, Ray Red will perform songs from the 1960s to the present on the 10th and host open mic nights on July 3 and 31, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. each night. The Hoodoo Loungers will celebrate the summer with Mardi Gras party music on July 8 and 14 and August 25, and the Nancy Atlas Project will rock both the harbor and the green on July 7 and 15.
Also performing: The Lone Sharks on August 5, The Hot Pockets on August 11, The 3Bs on August 12, Mama Lee Rose and Friends on August 18, Sound Source on August 19, Doctorow and The Steamrollers on July 22, Vivian and The Merrymakers on August 25, Gene Casey and The Lone Sharks on July 28, and The Blue Collar Band on July 29.
According to the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, concert-goers are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, coolers and picnic suppers.
“There’s really a hometown, family spirit at the concerts—it’s a lot of fun,” said Laraine Creegan, the chamber’s executive director.
Ms. Creegan said the concerts were started in 1995 by the now-defunct Montauk Downtown Association. She said they garnered a $2,500 grant from East Hampton Town to pay the musicians, and in 2004 the association asked the Montauk Chamber of Commerce to take over. The town awarded the chamber $5,000 to host the concerts in 2005, but when the economy took a downturn in 2008, it became the responsibility of the chamber to raise its own concert funds. Ms. Creegan said each year the chamber holds a “concert for the concerts” to get the ball rolling with support.
When the chamber chooses which acts to include, it considers a variety of genres but keeps it local, Ms. Creegan said. “Obviously, local music is a lifeblood. There are interesting things to do in life. You’ve got to work, but you want to enjoy the finer things in life, and by supporting local artists, musicians and farmers, you give back to the community. It’s very cyclical.”
For more information about the concerts and where they will be held, at the green or at the dock, visit www.montaukchamber.com, or call 668-2428.