Despite unpredictable weather—including a poor forecast that postponed Wednesday’s installment to Thursday—the town’s annual Waveny Summer Concert Series has once again been a great success this year, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko.
Held on the lawn out back of Waveny House, the event is “a fun family night out,” Benko said.
“A lot of people will get together with friends…they have a conversation, listen to the music, and have a nice time under the stars,” he added.
The series has been running in some form for nearly 40 years, Benko said. It started out as a collaboration with Manhattan-based Music Performance Trust Fund, and has since evolved into a 12-concert summer series featuring a variety of local and area musicians. Sponsors this year include Rand Insurance Co., Hobbs Inc., Kaster Moving Company, the New Canaan Board of Realtors and Karl Chevrolet.
“We’ve been able to change the type of music and the variety and everything else, so it’s really grown,” Benko said during a recent phone conversation with NewCanaanite.com.
The only slight dampener on the success of the series this year has been the weather, Benko said, with the Recreation Department being forced on multiple occasions—including this week—to postpone the concert.
“We’ve been playing weather roulette with the rain,” Benko said. “We’ve had a lot of rain on Wednesday nights this year—more than we normally have.”
Asked whether he thought the kind of erratic, extreme weather that’s made more likely by climate change would become more of a problem for outdoor events such as this, Benko said he was optimistic.
“We’ve been doing these concerts for 40 years and it’s been a total success,” he said. He added that the series never used to have a rain date, and that fewer people are able to attend when the concerts are postponed to Thursday. Nevertheless, Benko said that “we still get a nice crowd.”
The Short Bus, which was supposed to play Wednesday night and which will instead—provided the weather cooperates—play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night, is a ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s cover band which Benko said has played for the last three years at the Waveny Park Conservancy’s tailgate party.
“They’re really popular, so it’s good to have them,” he said.
The series will run for two more weeks. Next week, Otis and the Hurricanes will be playing music Benko described as “New Orleans style,” while the final performance will be from the Fairfield Counts, a 19-piece big band, “which is fun,” Benko said.
Benko added that New Canaan residents should also look out for a make-up concert from T&T Dreamin’, who were rained out on both Wednesday and Thursday at the beginning of the season, on Sept. 4—weather permitting.
“It’s fun, it’s a great event and we enjoy it,” Benko said.