The Summer Sessions series was announced Thursday morning at Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake. It will feature four concerts per year for the next five years.
Los Lonely Boys will perform July 1; followed by a concert featuring Poco, Firefall and Pure Prairie League on July 18.
“We’re still working on an additional two for this summer,” said Michelle Hanks of Seven Steps Up. “We look forward to bringing some amazing national acts to the stadium.”
Hanks said getting the concert series off the ground has been a bit of a challenge due to the fact that the venue is so new.
“When you have a new venue, people are really reluctant to play,” she said. “But we were tenacious and we continued having those conversations, and we have the first two.”
Hanks said the next two acts will be announced in the coming weeks.
Bill McKendry – whose company, Haven, helped promote the series – said he thinks Waterfront Stadium is the perfect venue for such a series.
“We really see this as a series of concert events,” he said. “We really hope, and the plan is, that this really becomes something super special, not unlike what you see in Grand Rapids at Meijer Gardens. ... When you think of the backdrop we have with the dunes, the channel, the beautiful city and, of course, Lake Michigan sunsets … we really see this as becoming a hot ticket in the summer.”
Tickets for the Los Lonely Boys show will cost $50, while tickets for the July 18 show will sell for $45. Tickets can be purchased online at www.sevenstepsup.com.
A total of 2,200 tickets will be available for each show. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be available, and organizers are working with various local vendors to provide food options.
Those attending the concert will have to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs.
Hanks said they attempted to schedule concerts for Mondays, Tuesdays or Thursdays.
“We already have people down here every weekend,” she said. “Sunday is Worship on the Waterfront and Wednesday is Dancing on the Grand. We’re trying to go for nights when there’s not something going on.”
Hanks added that concerts will not be scheduled during the Coast Guard Festival.
Third Coast Recording in Grand Haven is helping to stage the concerts.
“One of the biggest challenges is making sure we have good sound for the people listening, and the artists demand that,” Hanks said. “We’re very excited about our partnership with Third Coast Recording. Bill Chrysler knows sound, and he’s managing the whole process for us.”
For Hanks, this is about more than just selling tickets for a show – it’s about bringing more musical options to the Lakeshore.
“We’re passionate about music,” she said. “We believe music can bring people together the way nothing else can.”