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Summer concerts canceled

There will be no Summer Concert Series this year.

Organizers of the popular Friday evening concerts announced earlier this month that they have canceled the remaining concert schedule.

In May, concert organizers decided that no concerts would be held in June or July because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that a decision would be made in mid-July concerning the remainder of the season.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to climb rapidly throughout Hampton Roads, the organizers decided not to try to hold concerts during August, thus closing the door on the series for this year.

“Our primary concern has to be public health,” said John Edwards, who coordinates the summer concert schedule. “With COVID-19 surging in Hampton Roads, we see no possible way of having a safe environment in which crowds can gather during the next few months.

“The health of musicians is also an issue. Our Gazebo Stage is small and requires musicians to work in close proximity to one another. We concluded that trying to host the concerts is just not a good idea for anyone.”

This would have been the 34th Summer Concert Series, which was founded by The Smithfield Times in 1987. The town of Smithfield purchased the newspaper property this year and is now partnering with longtime concert sponsor, the Isle of Wight Arts League, to produce the lawn chair concerts, which are free to the public.