Downtown Farmington cancels outdoor concert season

The Farmington area outdoor concert season ended Thursday, as the Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) announced the cancellation of Rhythms in Riley Park and LunchBeats.

The two concert series join a number of other spring/summer events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Already gone are Art on the Grand, the Greater Farmington Founders Festival, and the City of Farmington Hills Stars in the Park concerts.

Featuring an eclectic range of musical styles, the Rhythms in Riley Park season typically begins in early June and ends in August and draws crowds of 500 or more to Riley Park and the Walter Sundquist Pavilion in downtown Farmington. LunchBeats, which would have opened on the first Wednesday in June, showcases solo and acoustic artists in lunchtime concerts with smaller audiences inside the Pavilion.

“The pandemic has impacted our ability to gather at the density we’re used to in Riley Park, but we’ll be back in 2021 to continue our tradition of great live music programming on Friday nights and Wednesdays at noon,” DDA Executive Director Kate Knight said.

While the concerts are gone, Knight said that the DDA is working with merchants and the City of Farmington to expand outdoor seating and outdoor retail opportunities, and monitoring public health recommendations and legislative changes to make liquor licensing and outdoor seating ordinances more flexible.

“We’d like to provide a social district for the community to use while social distancing and following safety guidelines,” Knight said. “It’s been a long spring season, and our downtown eateries and retailers are eager to greet customers again.”

Most restaurants downtown have been open for carry-out during the stay-at-home order, with a few more re-opening in the coming weeks, including MI.Mosa and The Krazy Crab. For a complete list of restaurants and open merchants, visit downtownfarmington.org.

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