The Main-Dempster Mile in Evanston is home to a lot of pretty important things. Small businesses. Restaurants. A diverse group of residents, each with a different story to tell.
And this summer, it is also home to six concerts to be held on select Fridays in June, July and August.
"Local residents are looking for fun, casual ways to gather and hang out together, and we have a wealth of musical talent right here on the Mile that many people don't even know about," explained Main-Dempster Mile Executive Director Katherine Gotsick, citing music-focused businesses like Chicago Strings, PM Woodwind, The Musical Offering, School of Rock, and The Guitar Works, Ltd. "a concert series is a win/win."
The free Main Street Summer Concert Series will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fridays, June 1, June 29, and August 3 in the Train Station Alley, 600 Main Street.
In addition, School of Rock Summer Fridays will be held on Fridays, June 22, July 20, and August 17 on the parking lot at 1308 Chicago Avenue, just north of Dempster Street. The School of Rock House band will headline each of these concerts.
Concerts coming up on June 1, June 22
The first summer concert will be held June 1 in the Train Station Alley at 600 Main Street, featuring live music from the Rolling Clones, a Rolling Stones cover band made up of current and former employees at Guitar Works.
"Since I live on Main St. and also manage a shop on Main Street, to say that I am looking forward to performing with the Rolling Clones on June 1st is a massive understatement," said Steve Siculan, manager of Guitar Works. "And I hope Stones fans of all ages come out for what looks to be an incredible event!"
On June 22, the School of Rock House Band will play at 1308 Chicago Avenue.
"The Chicago Avenue parking lot is one of our favorite places to play, being just outside our own doors such as it is," says Maggie Weber, General Manager of SOR Evanston. "And our neighbors love seeing the incredibly talented local musicians and vocalists that make up our bands."
Seating, Eating, and More
The Main-Dempster Mile will provide seating for guests. who can purchase beverages at the concert. Beverages will be provided on the concert grounds by local businesses like Sketchbook Brewing, Wine Goddess, Reprise Roasters, and La Principal.
Firehouse Grill will sell slices of Detroit-style pizza in the alley on Main Street, and local eateries Union Squared, Homestead Meats and French Kiss Cafe will offer easy grab-and-go options in their shops for the Chicago Avenue concerts.
Local merchants will also have the opportunity to pop up tents and tables at these concerts to promote their businesses or conduct activities.
"We hope it has the feel of a smaller, more casual block party," Gotsick said.
Just part of a Musical Summer on the Mile
In addition to these Main-Dempster Mile concerts, Evanstonians can find lots of other options for music consumption. FEW Spirits will continue their FEW Fridays concerts in the alley outside their distillery on the second Friday of each month, and the summer will culminate with the Big Evanston Block Party, hosted by Evanston SPACE as part of their Out of Space 10th Anniversary Celebration.
"You can also frequently find music happening inside local shops like Wine Goddess, Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery, La Principal, or Sketchbook Brewing" Gotsick said. "Check our website's Community Calendar for a (not complete, but very helpful) listing of the events we know about."