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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Live music returns to Bo Diddley Plaza with Live and Local Summer Concert Music Series

The series will feature three nights of local performances across July, August and September

A boy look up at Sara Donnachie, also known as Pose Norma, a Santa Fe music theory student, singing on stage at Bo Diddley Plaza in Gainesville on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
A boy look up at Sara Donnachie, also known as Pose Norma, a Santa Fe music theory student, singing on stage at Bo Diddley Plaza in Gainesville on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is bringing their Live and Local Summer Concert Series to Bo Diddley Plaza. 

Bo Diddley Plaza will be filled with the sounds of Gainesville’s first ever Live and Local Concert Series throughout the next few months. The City of Gainesville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department teamed up with MusicGNV to showcase a wide variety of Gainesville’s newest artists on the rise. The concert series’ first show was on Thursday following two more shows on Aug. 19 and Sept. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Each concert is free to attend and is welcome to all ages.

The first show of the Live and Local Concert Series featured a singer/songwriter showcase, forming a lineup of 10 Gainesville voices to emphasize the city's support towards its songwriters. It included performances from artists such as Ben White, Kyle Keller, Bohemian Sunshine and more. 

The second show, on Aug. 19, will be a showcase presented by Gainesville's premiere hip-hop and R&B record label, Dion Dia. The showcase will include the label’s in-house DJ and MC at the Bo Diddley Plaza stage, along with a lineup of artists that call the label home.

The Sept. 19  show will feature a co-headlining act with the band PALIMONY and the Noan Partly Trio, highlighting the city's excitement for its emerging musical talent.

The Live and Local Concert Series is the first live music event held on the Bo Diddley Plaza stage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. After over a year of live streams and virtual events, Gainesville residents are enthusiastic at the prospect of live music’s return. 

“It’s very cool that concerts are coming back after COVID in the Bo Diddley Plaza,” UF environmental science junior at UF Haiden Burrichter said.

The series offers a diverse lineup of artists and all-ages admission, which attendees said presents an accessible opportunity for entertainment. 

“The all ages thing makes it inclusive,” said Ben Demars, a third year mechanical engineering student at UF.

“This is really cool that they're having this, especially since it’s outdoors so I would feel pretty safe attending it,” he said.

As people waited for live music’s return, bands are just as excited to get back on the live stage. PALIMONY’s members said they are very honored to be a part of the featured acts playing the stage.

“Bo Diddley Plaza is an amazing stage, and we’re really excited to have the chance to play such a great venue,” said guitarist and vocalist Jacob Adams. “Outdoor shows are really special and we love the chance to play out music for our community in these types of settings.” 

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Adams said the Live and Local Summer Concert Music Series will be the first time PALIMONY plays as a band. 

“Seeing live music come back strong after the pandemic has been really special and being a part of that comeback while supporting the mission of MusicGNV really means a lot to us” he added.

Deafening silence cloaked Bo Diddley Plaza for over a year, but the Live and Local Summer Concert Music Series is spearheading the venue’s triumphant return. In the months the series spans and beyond, the sound of music will be heard once again. 

Ethan Funk

Contributing Writer

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