Elk Grove Village unveils biggest - and most expensive - summer concert series bill

Elk Grove Village officials on Tuesday unveiled their largest - and most expensive - summer concert series lineup yet.

The 2023 Mid-Summer Classics Concert Series bill will feature five shows in July and August - KC & the Sunshine Band, The Spinners, The All-American Rejects, The Oak Ridge Boys and Ann Wilson of Heart - and is one more than in years past.

"This year's lineup is by far the most expensive contract, but it's also, I believe, probably the biggest-name stars week after week after week we've ever had," Mayor Craig Johnson said at a village board meeting Tuesday night.

At a price of $550,000, the contract approved by the board with Elk Grove-based Entertainment Management Group to book and manage the concerts is $175,000 more than last summer's deal. That's when four shows were scheduled, but only three went on.

Village officials canceled the July 4 performance by KC and The Sunshine Band hours after the Highland Park shooting out of caution and consideration for the victims. The village, through the local concert promoter, was still on the hook for payment.

The disco group - originally set to perform in 2020 but canceled because of the pandemic - did refund the village that year.

Though the village doesn't release the financial figures of how much each group is paid, Johnson said the band agreed to hold to the original 2020 pricing, even as performers' fees have risen across the industry.

All in, the village expects to spend $680,000 to stage the shows, which includes insurance, personnel such as police and public works, and fireworks on July 4.

While the concerts are free to attend, the village funds them from a mix of revenues, including hotel taxes, tobacco licensee fees and video gambling revenues - the third of which is outperforming budget expectations, Johnson said. From the 26 restaurants and cafes in town that have the video slot machines, the village expects to get more than $500,000 in local taxes by the end of the fiscal year - a large portion of which will go to the concerts.

The village also gets sponsorships to put on the shows, including a $75,000 contribution from the Elk Grove Park District, which upped its contribution by $25,000 this year.

Here is a closer look at the concert series, now in its 14th year:

• Tuesday, July 4 - KC & the Sunshine Band will perform during the Lions Club's annual July 4 festival at Rotary Green on Lions Drive near Elk Grove High School.

• Tuesday, July 11 - The Spinners will play on the Village Green outside the Elk Grove municipal complex, 901 Wellington Ave.

• Thursday, July 20 - The All-American Rejects, who will help kick off Rotary Fest at Rotary Green, is one of the youngest bands in the history of the Elk Grove concerts. "As my kids say, 'Dad, we ever gonna get a band that's not on oxygen?'" Johnson quipped.

• Tuesday, July 25 - The Oak Ridge Boys will perform on the Village Green.

• Tuesday, Aug. 1 - Ann Wilson of Heart will close out the series on the Village Green.

Most of the shows are set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

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