River Concerts series on the Greenbelt is back and in full swing
IDAHO FALLS — Summer is here and that means live music as the River Concerts Series makes its return to the Idaho Falls Greenbelt Riverwalk.
Staged by the Idaho Falls Arts Council with the help of sponsors like the Bank of Idaho, the River Concerts Series has been providing the community with evenings full of good music and fun for over ten years. A wide range of artists has been featured, playing music from almost any genre one can think of.
“We do it every Tuesday in the summer from 7 to 8 on the Greenbelt at the Greenbelt Stage,” Arts Council spokesperson Joy Sorensen told EastIdahoNews.com. “We’ve had it for two weeks and the first week, we got rained out. So last week was officially our first concert.”
Sorensen said the idea behind the series is to give people a fun night out free of charge. The individual shows can attract as many as 500 people to dance, hang out and listen to some good music.
“It’s a fun night out on the river and it lasts for one hour,” she said. “People bring lawn chairs. Some people bring picnics. We have a pretty loyal following. They come and they listen to the music and they leave.”
The artists participating in the River Concerts play a wide variety of music. There’s a little something for everyone. General music lovers get to sample all different kinds of music and young listeners can find new sounds to fall in love with.
“A lot of (the bands) are local and we just try to get a variety,” said Sorensen. “Some of them we’ve had every year because they’re popular and people like to have them to come back. We try to find at least one new band every year just for variety, but most of them are local bands.”
“We do have a band (The Powell Brothers) coming from Texas that came last year and were really popular and they’re back this year,” she continued. “But most everybody is just from around the area.”
The range of sounds generated by this year’s bands is broad, from the Top 40 of Liatt & Dan to the western comedy of The Not Brothers to the Jazz of Rail City and the Mike Banks Jazz Quartet.
“I’ve seen them all and they’re all really good,” Sorensen said. “The Powell Brothers are really good. The Opskamatrists, who we had to reschedule from the first weekend, they’re great. We have several different jazz bands that come. The 40 Somethin’ band is good. They’re a classic rock band. And we have a couple of Celtic bands.”
With COVID-19 still a concern, Sorensen said they are following CDC guidelines for the River Concerts.
“We have to give a plan to the city and they have to approve it as far as following CDC guidelines,” she said. “We encourage social distancing. We do have hand sanitizers set up there. We were wearing masks last week. A lot of people who came weren’t wearing masks but a lot of them were social distancing in groups. We felt it was safe as everyone who came kept in their little groups.”
With the state opening back up and quarantine being lifted, many people are looking for fun activities that can fill the entertainment void in their lives and return a feeling of normalcy. Sorensen hopes the River Concerts can help address both those issues.
“It’s just a really fun time on the river for one hour,” she said. “If you enjoy good music and being in the outdoors, it’s just fun to come and watch. A lot of times, people will dance. And it’s free, so you can’t go wrong there.”
The River Concert Series takes over the Greenbelt Stage on the Idaho Falls Greenbelt every Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Weather permitting, June 30’s show will feature the Broadway sounds of Roger’s Revue.