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Stamford's Outdoor Music Scene Revs Up This Week

The stage is ready for live summer music in Columbus Park in Stamford as Jazz Up July kicks off Wednesday while Alive@Five begins Thursday.
The stage is ready for live summer music in Columbus Park in Stamford as Jazz Up July kicks off Wednesday while Alive@Five begins Thursday. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Downtown Stamford will once again host hot music on hot summer nights as Jazz Up July kicks off on Wednesday and Alive@Five returns on Thursday.

The Alive@Five outdoor summer concert series has become a signature event for Stamford, said Lynne Colatrella, vice president events and marketing for the Stamford Downtown Special Services District.

"We really work hard to make it a special place for people to come and enjoy themselves," Colatrella said.

The concert series is special because it takes place in the heart of the urban core of Stamford, unlike many other festivals that are held in parks or waterfront areas that are outside of an urban area, she said.

"There is nowhere like this where you can see these bands for $10," Colatrella said.

KC & The Sunshine Band kick off the series this Thursday with Bare Naked Ladies headlining the following week. On July 24, the Under the Sun tour with Blues Traveler, Smash Mouth and Sugar takes the stage. Ed Kowalczyk, former lead singer of LIVE, performs while Jake Miller takes the stage Aug. 7. The Beach Boys wrap up the series on Aug. 14.

For the Wednesday events, the Bacon Brothers kick off Jazz Up July this week along with Doug Allen. The performance begins at 6:30 p.m. in Columbus Park.

B.B. King performs the following week, with Delbert McClinton headlining on July 23 and Boz Scaggs hitting the stage on July 30 in the four-week concert series.

Jazz Up July is a more casual, intimate atmosphere where music fans can bring in picnic baskets and other items that are banned from the more crowded Alive@Five concerts, Colatrella said.

Organizers are trying to ensure that Alive@Five patrons have a pleasant experience once they get into the concert, Colatrella said. But security is always an issue, she said.

Last year, there was heavy security, something she attributed to increased measures taken at many events throughout the country after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Here are rules for Alive@Five concertgoers should be aware of, Colatrella said:

  • Backpacks and large bags will not be permitted.
  • The fee is $10 to attend the Alive@Five Festival.
  • New this year is $5 at 5 p.m.: Entrance fee is $5 between 5 and 6 p.m. with $5 beer and wine.
  • Children ages 12 and under are free, but must enter before 7 p.m. and cannot leave and re-enter.
  • You must be 21 or older to get into the concert area after 7 p.m. Hands will be stamped of those under 21. Under 21 cannot leave and re-enter.
  • Photo identification is required. Passports and out-of-state IDs require a second form of Photo I.D. with date of birth.
  • No entry is allowed through restaurant/bar/office back doors. Everyone must enter through single main entrance located on Main Street just east of Clark and Lower Summer Streets with multiple entry portals.
  • Alive@Five will take place, rain or shine.
  • Here are a list of restricted items: no coolers, chairs, bicycles, skateboards, weapons, containers of any kind, liquids, alcohol, illegal substances of any kind, pets, video cameras or tape recorders.
  • Security professionals at all entry portals will ensure that all attendees are free of any of these items.

The rules for Jazz Up July include:

  • $10 fee, children ages 12 and under are free.
  • Rain venue is the Palace Theatre, 61 Atlantic St.
  • Bags and coolers are subject to search.

For more information, visit the website for Downtown Stamford.

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