Friday evenings are about to get a lot more festive in downtown New Bedford. The City’s massive, dance-fueled, biggest-ever Summer Sound Series begins June 17 and offers a free concert every week, alternating between Purchase Street and lower Union Street, with block party events featuring a variety of musical genres and participation from local restaurants every Friday through Sept. 16.
“This year’s Summer Sound Series is bigger than ever,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The block party format on Union and Purchase streets will support downtown businesses, and will energize the City’s emergence from the pandemic.”
Downtown New Bedford is home to destination attractions such as the New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, New Bedford Art Museum, and the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center.
“As a parent of two young children, I fully appreciate the value of free or low-cost community events for which families can get together, enjoy some local entertainment, and make lifelong memories,” City Council President Ian Abreu said. “City-sponsored events like the ‘Summer Sound Series’ not only bring our residents together, but also provide a much-needed economic boost to our downtown restaurants, retailers and museums.”
The Summer Sound Series will be in the heart of it all, with streets blocked off for the Friday concerts from 6 to 8 p.m. Concert attendees can purchase a beverage from participating establishments and watch the concerts on the street.
This summer’s lineup features an eclectic variety of artists. “This year we are pulling out all the stops and offering free concerts for 14 weeks of the summer season, and each week features a different artist,” said Amy DesRosiers, marketing manager for the City’s Tourism and Marketing Department. “There’s funk, reggae, blues, roots rock, jazz, genre fusion bands and more. There’s something for everyone and plenty of opportunity to dance.”
City of New Bedford photo.
(between Union and William streets):
• June 17: The Dope Lotus (funk / soul / groove)
• July 1: Candida Rose (“KabuJazz” – Cape Verdean musical roots combined with American jazz influences)
• July 15:Adam Lufkin’s Mid-Summah Night’s Jam (guitar-driven, multi-genre)
• July 29: Craig DeMelo Band (guitar-driven singer/songwriter, spoken word poetry)
• August 12: JAMMIN’: A Tribute to Bob Marley (reggae)
• August 19: World Premier Band (funk / dance / throwbacks and originals)
• September 2: Hip Shot Band (upbeat dance / multiple genres / high-energy event band)
(between N. Water St. and Route 18):
• June 24: Colby James & The Ramblers (ensemble rock’n’roll)
• July 8: TBD*
• July 22: TBD*
• August 5: The Silks (blues-based rock ‘n’ roll from Providence)
• August 26: TBD*
• September 9: The Rosie Show (singer / songwriter rock)
• September 16: Johnny Hoy & The Bluefish (bluesy dance music)
*TBDs indicate preliminary agreements with musicians whose contracts have not yet been finalized.
PURCHASE STREET: No Problemo, The Pour Farm Tavern, dNB Craft Kitchen
UNION STREET: PLAY Arcade, Moby Dick Brewing Co., Cultivator Shoals, Union Flats Seafood Co., Cork Wine and Tapas, Rose Alley Ale House
All concerts are weather permitting. Learn more at: destinationnewbedford.org.