Grand Haven holding summer concert series at new venue

Arie Nienhuis, Staff Reporter

When it comes to entertainment, Grand Valley State University students may not typically venture very far from the Grand Rapids area. However, just a short drive away, there are countless exciting things for students to do, one of which is going on right now in the city of Grand Haven. At the new Lynn Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, the Summer Sessions concert series will see several artists visiting the city.

Upgraded to a 3,000-seat capacity amphitheater after 50 years of active use, the stadium features a gorgeous view of the mouth of the Grand River and the hills across the water. Combining this scenery with music, the concert series represents a meeting point of visual and auditory entertainment.

“Much like the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado and the Jones Beach Theater in New York, we believe this setting and the notable acts we’ll be bringing in will be a must-have ticket for music and summer lovers throughout the Midwest,” said event promoter Michelle Hanks.

Grammy Award-winning band Los Lonely Boys, known for their smash-hit “Heaven,” kicked off the series Monday, July 1, performing a rousing set for excited fans, young and old. Coming Thursday, July 18, bands Poco, Firefall and Pure Prairie League will be taking the stage, all carrying a country-rock legacy from their decades of work.

“This stadium is a tremendous gift to the city,” said Grand Haven mayor Mike Fritz. “(Concerts like this) will create the kind of magical experiences and memories everyone behind this project were hoping for.”

Two more acts are expected to be scheduled to continue the series, and the stadium will continue to host concerts far into the future. Beyond the music, students can find scenic pier walks, a beach and great food in the city of Grand Haven.

“We really see this as a series of concert events,” said promoter Bill McKendry in an interview with the Grand Haven Tribune. “(We) really hope that this becomes something super special, not unlike what you see in Grand Rapids at Meijer Gardens. When you think of the backdrop we have with the dunes, the channel, the beautiful city, and the Lake Michigan sunsets, we see this as becoming a hot ticket in the summer.”

Poco, Firefall and Pure Prairie League will take the stage starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $45 for individuals.

To round the night off, Grand Haven’s famous Musical Fountain will begin its nightly show, which is free for anyone to attend. More information and tickets can be found on the website for Seven Steps Up Live Music and Events.