BERLIN- The town will add a lunchtime concert series to its array of special events this summer.
In May, Berlin will kick off the Third Thursday Lunchtime Concert Series. On the third Thursday of May, June, July and August the town will host musicians at Artisans Green. The series is designed to appeal to visitors as well as those who live and work in Berlin.
“It’s important to get people out of their offices to enjoy lunchtime outside,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic development director.
Wells said she’d had the idea for a lunchtime concert series two years ago but hadn’t had the space to offer it. After working with local property owner Garrett Neeb, she secured permission to use a grassy space, now being called Artisans Green, near the former Sea La Vie location.
“It makes sense to picnic on the grass,” Wells said. “We didn’t want it to close to the roads.”
When she shared the concept with local merchants, they were supportive. They suggested the concerts take place on Thursdays.
“Everyone thought it was a great idea,” she said. “People are ready for the weekend on Thursdays.”
She says downtown restaurants will offer carryout lunch specials on each concert date so patrons can enjoy their lunches while listening to the featured musical act.
The concert series will kick off with a performance by George and Pat Bilenki on May 18. Other musical acts lined up for the summer include Rob Fahey, Darin Engh from Opposite Directions and The Country Grass. Each concert will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Wells made an effort to select acoustic performers who wouldn’t be too loud and would appeal to a wide variety of attendees.
“I also chose musicians that played their own music as well as covers,” she said.
She was particularly pleased to line up Fahey. The musician, known for the 1982 song “Raised on the Radio,” recently received the Maryland Music Icon Award at the Maryland Music Awards.
“He’s got a huge following,” Wells said. “It’s a special treat that he’s going to come play for us.”
Wells is hopeful the concert series will become an annual summer event. In addition to advertising it in the downtown area, she plans to reach out to staff at places like Atlantic General Hospital to let them know it’s taking place. She’s also encouraged Gull Creek Senior Living Community to add it to the list of bus trips available to residents.
“Everybody seems really pleased this is finally happening,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to having some fun this summer.”