Limited live music series returns to Fonthill Bandshell Aug. 5
For the first time since September 2019, the Fonthill Bandshell will welcome live music back to Peace Park in a limited, ‘covid-conscious’ concert series starting Aug. 5.
The bandshell volunteer committee is working hard on the details to ensure something wonderful, yet safe, comes out of the new normal.
“Welcome back!!! We have an incredible lineup of local talent to get you tapping your toes and clapping your hands once again,” notes Gayle Baltjes, volunteer board chair. “Though it may not be exactly what it was for the last decade, it promises to be a wonderful six weeks of enjoying a little bit of normal in all our lives.”
The series kicks off with Cottage Brew, five hugely talented young men playing the best of Classic and Canadian rock. On Aug. 12, New Kid in Town will pay tribute to the legendary hits of the Eagles (including hits from band members as solo artists); seasoned musicians and Niagara favourites for R&B, Motown and classic rock, Soul Jam take the stage Aug. 19; The Wanted blur the lines between folk and alt-country with their uniquely Canadian cool-roots sound on Aug. 26; return favourites The Johnny Max Band bring phenomenal R&B to the bandshell Sept. 2; and last, but certainly not least, the mini season wraps up Sept 9 with the talented This Time Around featuring cover tunes from the 1960s through to the ’80s.
The volunteers have been working hard to pull together a fast-tracked season adhering to the rules of Stage 3 as set out by the Province of Ontario, and within the health and safety guidelines of Health Canada. As a result, operations will definitely look different than past seasons.
Firstly, there will be no more chair set up in the early morning hours of concert day. Everyone is required to pre-register their attendance online at fonthillbandshell.com for Covid tracking purposes and capacity limits. The park will not be accessible for seating until 4 p.m. each Thursday, from Aug. 5 to Sept. 9. The Bandshell volunteers, with the help of Town of Pelham staff, will have the park marked for appropriate social distancing for attendees’ safe seating. Once checked in, participants will have assistance being guided to appropriate seating areas.
For those unable to pre-register (or who simply forget), there will be on-site, sign-in registration available – but only up until the capacity limit of 2,000 in the bandshell area is met.
Upon arrival and registration, guests will receive a bracelet for identification, so they may move about freely in the bandshell area (still wearing face masks please). Attendees will have access to both the Supper Market and Farmers Market areas, needing to stop at the various entry points, before returning to the designated bandshell seating area.
Under the health and safety guidelines, masks must be worn and guests must adhere to physical distancing rules of keeping six feet apart. For those who are part of the same household which includes caregivers, they may sit together without masks. If you are not from the same household, a mask is required at all times when within 6 feet. The next party will be required to be at a distance of six feet away.
“We are still trying to get answers on things like dancing, and socializing, and believe both will be allowed as long as people are masked and keeping their 6’ distancing,” notes Baltjes. The road will be closed in front of the post office for those wishing to shake off two years of pent-up pandemic frustration!”
She adds that the Bandshell volunteers have chosen not to ask for sponsors for any support for this season’s summer series, as they don’t feel now is the time to ask businesses for dollars they might not have, or would need for their own re-opening costs at this time.
Those in attendance will be asked for donations by the familiar red shirt ‘bucket brigade’ to help cover the cost of bringing the quality sound and high-value local entertainment to Peace Park each week of the series.
Baltjes noted the Town of Pelham has been very supportive of the work the volunteers have put into meeting all the guidelines to enable this to happen, and will be adding washrooms and helping with the park fencing and seating markings.
For more information as it becomes available, and to pre-register your attendance, visit fonthillbandshell.com