The Summer Concert Series on the Bethany Beach bandstand will once again offer a diverse lineup for 2016. The stage will feature 50 acts designed to entertain audiences of all ages every weekend throughout the summer, officials announced this week.
The season kicks off Memorial Day weekend with the United States Navy Cruisers on Saturday, May 28. The band performs contemporary arrangements of pop, rock, jazz and standards.
The Cruisers are one of six military bands returning to Bethany with their world-class musicians. Others include the Navy Sea Chanters, the Army Jazz Ambassadors and the 287th Army National Guard Concert Band. The USAF Celtic Aire will debut its Irish folk repertoire in Bethany on Saturday, July 16.
The series then takes a short break for the Seaside Craft Show on Saturday, June 4, when more than 100 juried fine craft vendors will set up shop on the boardwalk, bandstand and downtown streets. (The Joe Baione Jazz Trio will perform on the bandstand from 11 a.m. to 4.p.m.)
Concerts resume on Friday, June 10, with Sons of Pirates — a Jimmy Buffet/trop-rock-inspired beach band. That is one of 13 tribute acts on the talent roster and a natural fit for the beach venue, according to the Town.
“Last season’s audiences got to experience a different musical genre each night of the weekend if they chose to,” said Events Director Julie Malewski. “They were excited about that and wanted more of the same for this year.”
According to surveys, tribute bands topped audiences’ wish list, so, on July 2, Desert Highway is scheduled to pay a timely homage to the Eagles in the wake of Glenn Frye’s passing. Others making their debut are Gringo Jingo (Santana tribute) and Chicago Reloaded (Chicago), with another visit by Oh Boy! (Buddy Holly).
Cover bands will offer familiar songs, from funk and Motown to rock, pop and country. Along with returning favorites, there will be seven new bands on the roster, including local band Skinny Leg Pete, the Joseph Sisters out of Nashville and Washington D.C.’s La Unica Band. There will even be an opera performance on Sunday, July 24, highlighting a Gala with the Three Tenors.
Bethany audiences will also get to hear from original artists. On June 12, a former bass player for Bad Company, Paul Cullen, will share his Tuscan-influenced acoustic music in a co-headlined evening with comedy singer-songwriter Todd Chappelle. Country band The Stickers will return visit on Saturday, July 9, as they gain traction on Music Row and recognition on TV broadcast events, such as the ABC series “Nashville” and the Daytona 500.
Wednesdays in July will again feature a Kids Club, with child-friendly entertainment on the bandstand and Rehoboth Children’s Theater performances in Town Hall. Carnival Night launches on July 6, complete with face-painters, Uncle Pete and a magic show by Dickens Parlor Theatre.
The Talent Show will be held on Friday, Aug. 19. That annual event showcases an array of local and visiting talent with no age restrictions.
All events are free and sponsored by the Town of Bethany Beach. For a complete list of events and bios on these and other featured acts, visit www.townofbethanybeach.com, under Activities.