Allerton Park and Retreat Center will scale back its Prairie Sky Music Festival from two days to one this year. That after the 2018 outing scheduled to feature Marty Stuart was rained out.
Derek Peterson, the park's director, said the concert will get back to its 2016 roots that saw it bring in its first national headliner for a Friday night-only effort.
“We are always evaluating our course of action and considering public feedback. During that evaluation we decided that a two day festival wasn’t practical or sustainable at this time,” said Peterson. “We did find success when Rusted Root Played in 2016, which was a one day event. We are going to experiment with that this year and will reevaluate next year based on our results.
“In addition, this will allow the community and visitors to enjoy Monticellobration and Railroad Days the rest of the weekend (Sept. 21-22),” he added.
The Gate House Lawn will be the site for all of this year's summer concerts (except the Music Barn Festival), after holding some of the musical gatherings in the larger meadow venue in recent years. Also, some of last year's concerts were moved to the meadow due to construction of the Rathje Drive to the mansion.
The series of five concerts begins on June 1 with Love For ALLerton, continues with a July 5 blues event, an Aug. 2 Irish Fest, Prairie Sky on Sept. 20 and the Music Barn Festival on Sept. 27-29.
This year's Allerton Concert Series, sponsored by the University of Illinois Credit Union, will include the following:
June 1: LOVE FOR ALLerton
Music, art, and community will all be featured at this carefree concert event. Performers will be Carl Anderson (6 to 7 p.m.) and Devon Gilfillian (7:30 to 9 p.m.).
July 5: Reds, Whites, and the Blues
A continuance of the Independence Day celebration is the theme of the blues concert that will feature Billy Galt & the Blues Deacons (6 to 7 p.m.) and the James Armstrong Band (7:30 to 9 p.m.).
August 2: Irish Fest
Irish fest has become the most well-attended concert of the Allerton series, and this year will include not only performances by The Shanties (6 to 7 p.m.) and The Founding (7:30 to 9 p.m.), but a special performances by members of Shamrock Academy of Irish Dance, by Twist and Shout Dance and Cheer, and the serving of stew and soda bread.
September 20: Prairie Sky
A “bluegrassy” theme is planned for Allerton’s Prairie Sky Concert. It will include live music, festive food and drinks, activities, and more to embrace the changing seasons during this special celebration of the Autumn equinox.
The band lineup will be announced at a later date. Kites and canines are both encouraged for this special outdoor event.
September 27-29: Music Barn Festival: Songs Along the Sangamon
Join the University of Illinois School of Music during this candlelit weekend of crickets, cocktails, and rich music in Allerton’s idyllic Music Barn.
Performance details and pricing will be announced as the date nears.
For more information on the 2019 Concert Series, go online to allerton.illinois.edu/allerton-park-concert-series/.