Music Series Fostered Community Pride and Spurred Positive Conversation about the Y Block

Not surprisingly, the number one reason that attendees to this summer’s Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series presented by PNC Bank would return to the south side of the Y Block was for a permanent bandshell or concert venue.

More than 7,700 people attended the ten-week, free music series held on the vacant lot adjacent to the Illinois Governor’s Mansion hosted by organizers Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation, Downtown Springfield Inc and Springfield Area Arts Council. The two goals for the local organizers, which won them a $25,000 matching grant from the Levitt Foundation, were to bring Springfield’s diverse neighborhoods together in one central location, and to bring the public into the discussion about the future of the Y Block.

Local partners jumped on board, with PNC Bank leading the way as premier sponsor of the series. Other top sponsors included Isringhausen Imports, Illinois REALTORS, US Bank, LRS and the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. Top in-kind sponsors included all three radio groups coming together under the Radio Matters banner, Springfield Park District, Wyndham Springfield City Centre, Star Graphics, Republic Services, and the City of Springfield, who made physical improvements to the space so that people could bring blankets and lawn chairs to the concerts and provided waste and police services.

Nearly five hundred attendees took the time to fill out a survey about their desires for the future of the block and their downtown habits. The next three most popular responses for “reasons why you would return regularly” were, in order, food truck park, gardens, and/or a dog park.

Download the Levitt Music Series Attendee Count & Survey Analysis

The goal to provide an inclusive, safe place for all members of the community to come together was accomplished. This year’s attendees generally mirrored the demographics of the City of Springfield, according to the US Census. To personally invite African American families to the series, we partnered with UAct, a local non-profit, who made a total of 117 contacts with people in 59 east side entities. The Latino attendance was actually a higher percentage than Springfield’s Latino population, thanks to outreach by Salsa Ambassador Julio Barrenzuela. The Asian population was somewhat underrepresented.

Photo Credit: Brian Bowles

The family-friendly atmosphere was evident. Nearly 60 percent of surveyed attendees came with their family. Forty-seven percent came with friends. More than a quarter of surveyed attendees brought at least one child with them to the concerts. And tellingly, eight percent of those surveyed came by themselves, which indicates the venue felt safe and welcoming.

Regarding the future of the block, the City Council recently passed an ordinance which supports placing a downtown campus of UIS and SIU on or near the Y Block.

Springfield intends to submit a renewal application for a 2020 Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series, which is due September 20. Follow Levitt AMP Springfield to stay up to date.

Downtown Springfield Inc has a policy position on the future of the Y Block. Read it here: North Mansion Block Updated 2019 Policy

Free Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series Concert

The last night of the Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series is tonight, so don’t miss it!

Described as country superstar Miranda Lambert’s “favorite songwriter” in an interview with Rolling Stone, John Moreland’s signature brand of honest, emotion-driven songwriting and coarse, vulnerable vocals have solidified his place at the forefront of contemporary Americana music. With opening act Edward David Anderson.

Special thanks to tonight’s Concert Sponsor, Conn’s Hospitality.

The Official After Party will be at Anvil & Forge.

This free concert series is made possible by a competitive matching grant from the Levitt Foundation, plus matching local support from presenting sponsor PNC Bank, plus Isringhausen Imports, City of Springfield, Springfield Park District, Radio Matters Partnership: Midwest Family Broadcasting-Capitol Radio Group -Neuhoff Media, Wyndham City Centre, US Bank, Levi Ray & Shoup, Springfield Convention & Visitors Center, Illinois REALTORS, Central Baptist Church, Evan Lloyd Architects, Illinois National Bank, HISO Music, Star Graphics, Recycled Records, Kerber Eck & Braeckel, Heartland Coca-Cola, Alderman Kristin Dicenso, WUIS’ Nightsounds, Cavanagh & OHara LLP, Foamed Up, Alderman Joe McMenamin, Arch Coal Viper Mine, Springfield Jaycees, Springfield Sliders, Catalano Creative, and UAct.

The series has been organized by Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation, Downtown Springfield, Inc and Springfield Area Arts Council.

VENUE EXPECTATIONS

  • Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic!
  • Site will be open to public prior to 6 pm start time – free kids activities by the Springfield Park District will begin at 5:30 pm
  • Bring your own food and beverages (no glass containers)
  • On site food and beverage concessions will be available (alcohol purchase will require I.D.)
  • Check out downtown restaurants before or after the performances!
  • Please clean up your area at the end of the evening (garbage bins will be provided)
    Service dogs are always welcome
  • To ensure a safe and welcoming experience for all concertgoers, other dogs are only allowed if: they are well-behaved; they are kept by owner’s side on a short (6 ft. or less), non-retractable leather or nylon leash; their owners pick up after them; and their owners agree to cover any damage, should it occur. Concert organizers reserve the right to ask that owners remove pets from the concert, if needed.

PARKING

Free parking is available at downtown street meters after 5 pm on weekdays (and all day Saturday and Sunday).

For nearby parking garages, might we suggest:

  • INB Parking Garage: adjacent to Levitt AMP concert site, at 4th and Capitol (suggested $5 donation to support three non-profits activating Levitt AMP concerts
  • Herndon Parking Garage: adjacent to the Hoogland Center for the Arts, at 6th and Capitol ($5 fee)

Free Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series Concert

Combining rollicking roots-rock with effortless indie pop cool, Liz Cooper and The Stampede are a Nashville-based band that sounds like summertime. With opening act Kate Laine.

Special thanks to tonight’s Concert Sponsor, Alderwoman Kristin Dicenso.

The Official After Party is at VELE Restaurant.

This free concert series is made possible by a competitive matching grant from the Levitt Foundation, plus matching local support from presenting sponsor PNC Bank, plus Isringhausen Imports, City of Springfield, Springfield Park District, Radio Matters Partnership: Midwest Family Broadcasting-Capitol Radio Group -Neuhoff Media, Wyndham City Centre, US Bank, Levi Ray & Shoup, Springfield Convention & Visitors Center, Illinois REALTORS, Central Baptist Church, Evan Lloyd Architects, Illinois National Bank, HISO Music, Star Graphics, Conn’s Hospitality, Recycled Records, Kerber Eck & Braeckel, Heartland Coca-Cola, WUIS’ Nightsounds, Cavanagh & OHara LLP, Foamed Up, Alderman Joe McMenamin, Arch Coal Viper Mine, Springfield Jaycees, Springfield Sliders, Catalano Creative, and UAct.

The series has been organized by Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation, Downtown Springfield, Inc and Springfield Area Arts Council.

VENUE EXPECTATIONS

  • Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic!
  • Site will be open to public prior to 6 pm start time – free kids activities by the Springfield Park District will begin at 5:30 pm
  • Bring your own food and beverages (no glass containers)
  • On site food and beverage concessions will be available (alcohol purchase will require I.D.)
  • Check out downtown restaurants before or after the performances!
  • Please clean up your area at the end of the evening (garbage bins will be provided)
  • Service dogs are always welcome
  • To ensure a safe and welcoming experience for all concertgoers, other dogs are only allowed if: they are well-behaved; they are kept by owner’s side on a short (6 ft. or less), non-retractable leather or nylon leash; their owners pick up after them; and their owners agree to cover any damage, should it occur. Concert organizers reserve the right to ask that owners remove pets from the concert, if needed.

PARKING

Free parking is available at downtown street meters after 5 pm on weekdays (and all day Saturday and Sunday).

For nearby parking garages, might we suggest:

  • INB Parking Garage: adjacent to Levitt AMP concert site, at 4th and Capitol (suggested $5 donation to support three non-profits activating Levitt AMP concerts
  • Herndon Parking Garage: adjacent to the Hoogland Center for the Arts, at 6th and Capitol ($5 fee)

Free Levitt AMP Springfield Music Series Concert

New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band layers traditional brass band music with bebop jazz, funk and R&B for a lively “musical gumbo.” With opening act Frank Parker.

Special thanks to Concert Sponsor Recycled Records.

The Official After Party is at Celtic Mist Pub.

This free concert series is made possible by a competitive matching grant from the Levitt Foundation, plus matching local support from presenting sponsor PNC Bank, plus Isringhausen Imports, City of Springfield, Springfield Park District, Radio Matters Partnership: Midwest Family Broadcasting-Capitol Radio Group -Neuhoff Media, Wyndham City Centre, US Bank, Levi Ray & Shoup, Springfield Convention & Visitors Center, Illinois REALTORS, Central Baptist Church, Evan Lloyd Architects, Illinois National Bank, HISO Music, Star Graphics, Conn’s Hospitality, Kerber Eck & Braeckel, Heartland Coca-Cola, Alderman Kristin Dicenso, WUIS’ Nightsounds, Cavanagh & OHara LLP, Foamed Up, Alderman Joe McMenamin, Arch Coal Viper Mine, Springfield Jaycees, Springfield Sliders, Catalano Creative, and UAct.

The series has been organized by Downtown Springfield Heritage Foundation, Downtown Springfield, Inc and Springfield Area Arts Council.

VENUE EXPECTATIONS

  • Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic!
  • Site will be open to public prior to 6 pm start time – free kids activities by the Springfield Park District will begin at 5:30 pm
  • Bring your own food and beverages (no glass containers)
  • On site food and beverage concessions will be available (alcohol purchase will require I.D.)
  • Check out downtown restaurants before or after the performances!
  • Please clean up your area at the end of the evening (garbage bins will be provided)
  • Service dogs are always welcome
  • To ensure a safe and welcoming experience for all concertgoers, other dogs are only allowed if: they are well-behaved; they are kept by owner’s side on a short (6 ft. or less), non-retractable leather or nylon leash; their owners pick up after them; and their owners agree to cover any damage, should it occur. Concert organizers reserve the right to ask that owners remove pets from the concert, if needed.

PARKING

Free parking is available at downtown street meters after 5 pm on weekdays (and all day Saturday and Sunday).

For nearby parking garages, might we suggest:

  • INB Parking Garage: adjacent to Levitt AMP concert site, at 4th and Capitol (suggested $5 donation to support three non-profits activating Levitt AMP concerts
  • Herndon Parking Garage: adjacent to the Hoogland Center for the Arts, at 6th and Capitol ($5 fee)
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