NEWS

Park Rhythms summer concert series returns to Black Mountain for 26th year

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain's summer concert series Park Rhythms runs from June 16 through August 11.

The parks are alive with the sound of music.

Park Rhythms, the summer concert series hosted by Black Mountain Recreation & Parks for the past 26 years, returns to Veteran's Park in June. 

"It's our annual free concert series that we present every summer," said Clint Bowman, recreation coordinator for BMRP. "Eight shows of diverse music genres."

Beginning June 16, the concert series will run through August 11, taking place on Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. 

The BMRP team comes together throughout the year to compile an artist consideration list. In late January, the department listens to the musicians compiled and decides on which artists to invite. 

Though roughly half of the artists hail from North Carolina, not all are local. 

"We've expanded our horizons for this one," Bowman said. "We've got somebody coming in from Brooklyn, New York, South Carolina, Raleigh. It's really reaching out a little bit more this year."

The full concert series lineup:

  • June 16 - Vaden Landers 
  • June 23 - Lizzie No 
  • June 30 - Floating Action
  • July 14 - Titus Gant Quartet 
  • July 21 - The Foreign Landers 
  • July 28 - Truth Club 
  • August 4 - Pimps of Pompe 
  • August 11 - Alexa Rose 
The Park Rhythms lineup includes local and travelling musicians from up and down the east coast.

The concerts are free to the public, though the town does compensate the artists through negotiated contracts based on the musicians' typical rates for a two hour performance. In addition to compensation, BMRP pays for sound, staging and setting up at the park.

To help with these payments, Bowman said the series has sponsors as well.

Using the current location of Veteran's Park for the first time in 2021, previously holding concerts at Lake Tomahawk, Bowman said turnout ranged anywhere from 500 to 600 people and as high as 1,000 for certain shows.

The location of Park Rhythms was originally moved to Veteran's Park to allow for social distancing but staff found it generally more ideal than Lake Tomahawk.

"It seemed like a better fit," Bowman said in reference to the change to Veteran's Park. "Originally, COVID was a huge reason in the beginning. We wanted to allow people to social distance."

Last year, the department set up small circles to indicate where concert goers should sit to allow for social distancing. With plenty of room at the park, Bowman said the department will no longer have such requirements.

Ezra Maille covers the town of Black Mountain, Montreat and the Swannanoa Valley. Reach him at 828-230-3324 or emaille@blackmountainnews.com. Please support local journalism with access to more breaking news by subscribing.