Research park concerts set
CHAMPAIGN — The headline acts for the Outside at the Research Park concerts this summer will be Vieux Farka Toure with his signature Malian blues on June 14, and the alternative American roots band Spuyten Duyvil on July 12.
Toure is an alumnus of Ellnora: The Guitar Festival at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, which presents Outside at the Research Park in collaboration with Fox/Atkins Development and the University of Illinois.
Both concerts are free and open to the public. The performance space and seating area are just south of the building at the corner of First Street and St. Mary's Road in Champaign.
The tree-lined, grassy space has hosted thousands of audience members each summer since the inception of Outside in 2007.
"It has been a pure pleasure to see Outside at the Research Park become a beloved summer tradition in our community," said Rebecca McBride, Krannert Center's senior associate director. "Through the generosity of our donors, we've been able to help create a joyous celebration that recognizes our region's diversity, talent and dedication to solving problems such as sustainability, and that offers an opportunity to witness the power of the arts to transform lives and connect people."
The July 12 event will feature a green fair starting at 6 p.m. Sustainability-minded local businesses and organizations are invited to take advantage of free exhibit space at the fair. Interested parties may contact Lisa Lillig at 244-6298 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both concerts will start at 6:30 p.m. Opening for Toure will be the local Mhondoro Rhythm Success, which blends Zimbabwean pop songs, regional music and electric guitar.
The opening act for Spuyten Duyvil will be The Diva & The Dude, aka Kathy Harden and Andy Baylor, who cover songs by saucy women ranging from Patsy Cline to Koko Taylor.