RiverEdge Park in Aurora is about to launch its first season as the Chicago area's newest outdoor music venue, bringing blues, country and rock artists to grace the stage during performances this summer.
Highlights include Dr. John, JJ Gray & Mofro, The Stone Foxes, Tommy Castro and The Pain Killers, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and another blues legend to be announced May 7 playing as the park officially opens with the annual Blues on the Fox festival June 14 and 15; Loretta Lynn and Randy Travis performing June 29; and "Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus" with Peter Frampton, Sonny Landreth and B.B. King on Aug. 16.
The initial lineup was released Monday morning as the website for the park's Music Garden went live at riveredgeaurora.com.
Featuring space for up to 10,500 concertgoers in rows of seats near the stage, grassy areas and a rooftop deck for VIPs, RiverEdge Park's Music Garden is located at 360 N. Broadway Ave., across the street from the Aurora Transportation Center.
Mayor Tom Weisner says the park is meant to be an economic catalyst for the city's downtown, drawing residents and tourists alike to the area for concerts and festivals.
"The opening of RiverEdge Park's Music Garden ushers in a new and exciting era of culture, music and celebration for Aurora," Weisner said in a news release.
The Aurora Civic Center Authority, which manages the Paramount and Copley theaters in Aurora, is the organization responsible for bringing musical acts to the park during its first season.
"Our goal is to offer a strong combination of national headliners, local performing arts productions and stage a wide variety of exciting special events, all aimed at boosting Aurora's profile as a growing and vibrant destination for live entertainment," Tim Rater, president and CEO of the Civic Center Authority, said in a news release.
The park's performance and event schedule so far includes:
• Blues on the Fox on June 14 and 15, featuring Dr. John, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Stone Foxes, Tommy Castro and The Pain Killers, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and another blues legend to be announced May 7.
• The second annual Amped Up Adventure Race hosted by Paddle and Trail Aurora on June 16
• 97Nine and American English on June 28
• Loretta Lynn and Randy Travis on June 29
• Bruce in the USA and Fox Valley Orchestra with post-concert fireworks July 4
• The Color Vibe 5K Race July 6
• Trace Adkins, Aaron Lewis, Drake White and Blackberry Smoke on July 13
• The 42nd annual Aurora Puerto Rican Heritage Festival on July 27 and 28
• A Sing-a-long Movie in the Park event to "Grease" on Aug. 9
• The "Sail Rock" tour featuring Christopher Cross, Orleans, Gary Wright, Firefall, John Ford Coley, Robbie Dupree and Player on Aug. 10
• "Peter Frampton's Guitar Circus" with Peter Frampton, Sonny Landreth and B.B. King on Aug. 16
• The Pink Floyd Experience on Aug. 17
• Get the Led Out -- The American Led Zeppelin on Aug. 30
Rater said the Civic Center Authority expects to announce more performances and events in the next few weeks.
Tickets for most performances go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, April 22. Tickets to country stars Loretta Lynn and Randy Travis will be available beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 20.
Tickets are available at riveredgeaurora.com, by calling (630) 896-6666, or at the RiverEdge satellite box office at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. Once the park opens, visitors can buy tickets at its on-site box office on show or event days.
Even before the park opens for its musical season, the public can get tours June 3 through 6 during All Access Week.
The Music Garden, constructed using $13 million in grants from the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Fox Valley Park District and the Dunham Fund, is the first phase in a 30-acre RiverEdge Park plan that eventually will include wetland and urban wildlife areas, a playground, bike paths and open spaces on both shores of the Fox River connected by a pedestrian bridge.