Sacramento Downtown Partnership’s Concerts in the Park is in its 24th season – concerts take place Fridays during the summer starting May 1, going through July, and drawing an average of 5,800 people to Cesar Chavez Park every week.
For surrounding businesses all the attention on the Downtown area is a boon.
“Last year it basically floated us,” said Demetri Gregoraskis, co-owner of Blackbird, a downtown restaurant. “It helped us tremendously with the financial aspects of the business.”
This year he said they’re going to capitalize even more on the event by working with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership to be an official after party venue for the event.
“We’re hoping to push some of those 6,000 people into local restaurants for post-concert drinks,” said Maria Robinson with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.
Robinson said over the past few years they’ve seen attendance to the 25-year-old event surge. The downtown partnership works with a group of concert promoters to develop a diverse lineup for the series.
“As we do every year we want to curate a lineup – no matter what genre you’re into, during the concert season we hope there’s a concert that will speak to you,” said Robinson.
Justin Nordin is part of the group of promoters and musicians who help book the series. He says they really want to draw people from the suburbs and out of the area and in order to do that they have to book acts from out of the area.
“We had to look inward and really pay attention to what our mission was,” explained Nordin. “If we cannibalize our own draw by only booking bands based in Sacramento – so we’re going to keep booking the same bands and we’re going to hit this flat-line that we don’t want to hit.”
This year they’ve booked hip hop group, Blackalicious from the Bay Area (although they met in a Sacramento High School and got their start in Davis) and From Indian Lakes from the Yosemite area.
In addition to reaching out of the area for talent Nordin said they’re also listening to the concerns of the community and trying to address grievances.
“Last year there was a big complaint from the local hip-hop community saying we didn’t have enough hip-hop.” So this year they booked DLRN, Task1ne and Century Got Bars among other noteable hip-hop acts.
As for Gregoraskis, he hasn’t even had a chance to check out the lineup, but he likes the crowds attracted to the area because of the series.
“The Concerts in the Park are the breath of life for this neighborhood,” said Gregorakis.
2015 Concerts in the Park Lineup
Dates: May 1, 2015 to July 24, 2015, except July 3
Time: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Address: 910 I Street, Sacramento, CA
Cost: Free entry for all ages