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Annual River Concert Series returning to Idaho Falls Greenbelt this summer

Arts & Entertainment

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IDAHO FALLS — A long-running summer tradition will return in June when the Bank of Idaho River Concert Series takes to the stage on the Idaho Falls Greenbelt Riverwalk.

Organized by the Idaho Falls Arts Council, the River Concerts bring in a wide range of musical artists for a series of hour-long concerts every Tuesday night. The River Concerts get underway June 15 with a performance by local favorites The Opskamatrists.

“Most of the groups we sponsor are local artists,” Arts Council spokeswoman Joy Sorenson told EastIdahoNews.com. “We have some favorites that come back every year. Every year we also try to bring a couple of new groups into the mix. It’s just a fun time and it’s a way to get out, hear some good music and enjoy the talents of the local arts scene.”

Sorenson said River Concerts shows draw crowds that range from 200- to 500-plus people. Folks attending the shows are encouraged to bring chairs to sit on. Some concert guests bring picnics and many take the performances as an opportunity to dance.

The River Concerts present groups that play many genres of music, meaning there’s a good chance that any fan of music will be able to hear something they like.

River Concerts 2
Courtesy Idaho Falls Arts Council

“We have ska, we have jazz, we have big band, we have classic rock, we have Celtic and bluegrass,” said Sorenson. “This year, we’ve added a couple of new groups. One of them is indie pop and rock and another one is neo-soul, funk and reggae. So we really do try to cover the spectrum. There’s something for everyone and it’s very family-friendly.”

After COVID played havoc with last year’s River Concerts, Sorenson said there’s a lot of excitement for this summer’s slate of shows.

“We started out with a couple of concerts last year and then, the gathering numbers were lowered and the mask mandate came into play,” she said. “The best way we could continue was to bring them into our space where we streamed them over YouTube and Facebook. We’re really looking forward to being outside and doing it the way we like to do it, which is very fun and allows for a lot of people to come out and enjoy it.”

Not only is the Arts Council looking forward to getting back to doing The River Concerts outdoors, but the public is also chomping at the bit for the performances to return to their proper venue as well.

“We’ve had people asking us for probably the last two or three months if we were going to be able to go through with the series,” Sorenson said. “We’ve had people stop by our offices looking for the schedule.”

“What I’ve learned is that people missed (The River Concerts) when they weren’t there,” she added. “A lot of people understood why we couldn’t do them last year but a lot of people wanted us to find a way to host them. I think it’s a good thing to bring people together to enjoy music in the summer.”

The Bank of Idaho River Concerts Series kicks off Tuesday, June 15 at the stage on the Greenbelt Riverwalk at 7 p.m. with The Opskamatrists. Subsequent concerts are set for every Tuesday night through Aug. 31. The schedule is available on the Idaho Falls Arts Council website.

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