Picture yourself situated on the expansive lawn of the Palm Desert Civic Center Park, the sun slipping below the mountains to the west, and the lights coming up on the amphitheater for a delightful evening of music. Enticing smells are wafting over from a nearby food truck. You’re surrounded by friends and family, children are playing and dancing nearby, and all is good.
It doesn’t get any better than that. Or does it? Did we mention that this exciting concert experience is actually free of charge?
Since 1994, Palm Desert’s popular Concerts in the Park have been a gathering spot for residents and visitors alike. Held every Thursday evening in May and October, these concerts pack in big crowds at the Civic Center Park Amphitheater who come to see rousing performances by best-of-their-genre bands from across North America.
Finding the right mix of entertainment programming that appeals to a variety of music lovers has been the responsibility of City of Palm Desert staff member Amy Lawrence for the past several seasons. She says there’s a lot to look forward to this fall.
“This year, we have one of our more geographically diverse line-ups, with bands from Canada, Boston and Austin,” Lawrence explained. “I’m always excited when we can book bands that the audience hasn’t had the opportunity to see perform locally before. This is shaping up to be a great season with some extraordinary musicians.”
The concert series kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, with a performance by Santanaways, a Santana tribute band. Lawrence says she aims to book one tribute band each season because they are popular with concertgoers, and she always searches for the most authentic group possible that recreates both the look and sound of the original band. In the case of Santaways, bandleader Benito Meschoulam’s uncanny similarities to Carlos Santana in appearance and playing style helps this band deliver its authentic vibe.
While the music is the main draw, you can round out your evening by enjoying the culinary offerings from the food and beverage trucks that will be parked on-site. As an alternative to food truck fare, concertgoers are also encouraged to bring picnic baskets along with blankets or lawn chairs to enjoy the shows. However, alcoholic beverages and smoking are prohibited at Civic Center Park.
The season continues every Thursday in October at 6 p.m. Here’s the full line-up:
- October 4: Santanaways (Santana Tribute Band)
- October 11: The Dreamboats (Vintage Rock ‘n Roll)
- October 18: Twisted Pine (Folk/Alternative)
- October 25: Hot Club of Cowtown (Hot Jazz/Western Swing)
Palm Desert Civic Center Park is located on the northeast corner of San Pablo Avenue and Fred Waring Drive. For more information on attending the Concert in the Park series, call Palm Desert Visitor Services at 760-568-1441.