Warm temperatures, cool music

Kurt Van Meter will open the Dallas Sounds of Summer on the Rotary Performing Arts stage on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

DALLAS — Ready for live music outdoors, Dallas?

The 2018 season of Sounds of Summer launches Thursday at the Rotary Performing Arts Stage with hometown boy and country music artist Kurt Van Meter.

The season is starting a month early due to changes organizer Dallas Area Visitors Center tried to implement this year.

What: Sounds of Summer

When: Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. except for Aug. 16. That event begins at 4 p.m.

Where: Rotary Performing Arts Stage, 182 SW Academy St. in Dallas.

Of note: Bring your own chairs or blankets. Food trucks will be at each show and some concerts will have a beer garden. Bounty Market will stay open until 6 p.m. on June 7, July 5 and Aug. 2.

The idea was to reduce the number of concerts in the series, but bring in artists that have a regional following. The hope was to bring people from out of town to spend time and money in Dallas, JD Shinn, the director of the DAVC has said.

DAVC originally booked Van Meter, Beatles cover band Abbey Road Live, and fan favorite Johnny Limbo & the Lugnuts.

That lineup changed when sentiment from the community showed people wanted a full series. DAVC obliged, but on a different schedule with two concerts in June, two in July and four in August.

June 7: Kurt Van Meter (country)

Food trucks and beer garden

June 21: Zoe Imperium (indie rock)

Food trucks

July 5: Abbey Road Live (Beatles cover band

Food trucks and beer garden

July 19: Cash & Company (folk & fiddle)

Food trucks and beer garden

Aug. 2: Youngberg Hill (bluegrass)

Food trucks

Aug. 16: Dallas Christian Music Festival (show begins at 4 p.m.)

Food trucks

Aug. 23: Grateful Dead Cover Band

Food trucks and beer garden

Aug. 30: Johnny Limbo & The Lugnuts (classic rock)

Food trucks

“We are just really excited about having a full schedule together and excited to see the community come together, since last year was the eclipse and things were a little different,” said Bonnie Dreier, DAVC’s events coordinator. “People wanted concerts a lot, so this is how we met in the middle.”

Sounds of Summer won’t just provide musical entertainment. Concert-goers also will have dinner and dessert options, a beer garden at some of the shows, and a chance to do some shopping before the first concert each month.

Polk County Bounty Market will stay open until 6 p.m. those nights to accommodate those who can’t get to the market earlier. Holding later market hours hasn’t been successful in the past, Dreier said, but combining it with another event may prove to be the key.

“We are going to give it another shot because we know people want to shop,” Dreier said. “It also gives people, while they are waiting for the bigger concerts, something to do.”

On Aug. 16, the series hosts the first Dallas Christian Music Festival, which starts at 4 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. Bands Persevered, Zoe Imperium and Wrecknciled will perform. Speakers Ben Bauman and Marv Colbert are also part of the lineup.

The always-popular Johnny Limbo & The Lugnuts in August will include a car show.

“The DDA and Dallas Vitality Connection, they are looking to do a ‘show and shine’ … for people to bring down their cars to go with that concert,” Dreier said. “We are looking forward to that. That’s currently in the planning stages.”

Dreier said the show that she’s most curious about is on July 5, Abbey Road Live. The band calls Georgia home and was looking for venues to add to its swing through the Northwest this summer.

“They are doing a circuit out here, so they connected with me instead of me searching for them,” she said. “I’m pretty excited about that.”

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