Umbrella Arts kicks off its annual River of Music concert series with local favorite Backwater on Friday, June 1. For the fifth consecutive summer, Umbrella Arts celebrates local musicians with 11 free Friday night concerts at Guttenberg’s scenic Ingleside Park.
The venue is indeed unique. River of Music concerts take place in Guttenberg’s beautiful riverfront park. The audience gathers in lawn chairs on the grass, while the musicians play beneath a band shell built by a local boy scout.
The family-friendly event draws thousands annually with musical groups like Triple Threat, Friends of the Backbone Bluegrass Festival, Topp Flight, and Uncle Sam’s Band. Many of those bands are returning this summer for the opportunity to play an outdoor show alongside the Mississippi River. See the full schedule of concerts here!
Performers share an interest in performing alongside the river, but their musical tastes vary greatly. From country to bluegrass to rock, River of Music organizers aim to plan something for everyone. This year, a song paying tribute to Tom Petty has been requested of Backwater, the band which opens the series on June 1.
River of Music is made possible by many local sponsors who show their appreciation for the arts by generously supporting the concerts. Umbrella Arts volunteers host each concert and help by cleaning up the park after concerts, introducing bands and speaking between sets, and simply being present to assist with any concerns that may arise.
River of Music, along with its organizers, sponsors, and supporters, are helping to make Guttenberg a place where the arts are valued and celebrated. Volunteers pass a basket at the concerts for free-will donations to support Umbrella Arts endeavors to enhance the arts in the community.
Guttenberg’s River of Music is offered every Friday, June 1 – Aug. 11, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. In the event of rain, concerts are held on the third floor of the municipal building. Signs will be posted both in the park and at the city hall if the weather is threatening and the rain location is used. Organizers remind attendees that insects may also attend the outdoor concerts, and sharing of insect repellant with neighbors is encouraged.
Concert attendees are welcome to bring dinner, snacks, and beverages along, provided all beverages are stored in plastic bottles or cans and trash is placed in nearby receptacles. Quiet, well-mannered pets are welcome at the concerts as long as they are on a leash, and owners observe animal-waste clean-up rules. Bags are provided in the park for this purpose. Restrooms are located just south of the bandshell next to the school playground.
Image credit: Image courtesy of Umbrella Arts