It's summer now - time for the glorious outdoor concert, where people listen to symphonic music out in the fresh air, surrounded by greenery, beautiful vistas, warm breezes, the sweet smell of nature and maybe the distance chirp of birds. Possibly a butterfly will flutter by during Beethoven's "Pastorale"...
I've certainly had some idyllic experiences with outdoor concerts, both on and off the stage: sitting in the audience at Ravinia, Blossom, Bravo!Vail, Red Rocks, Aspen.. and sitting on the stage at Epcot (a whole summer of that), atop Pikes Peak with the Colorado Springs Symphony on the Fourth of July, and just last week, at the Arboretum for the Pasadena Pops.
But truth be told, the outdoor concert has a built-in nemesis: the weather. I can also remember running from stage in a sudden rainburst in Florida, trying to protect my instrument; frying in the heat at the Redlands Bowl; trying to make the best of a rainy July 4 as an audience member in the lawn seats at Riverbend....
Just last week, the temperature dropped like a rock for our Pops concert - I found myself wearing winter boots and a turtleneck - others where wearing down jackets. For a concert in June!
Elsewhere in the country, I'll point out the notable situation last Wednesday at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, where "the concert crowd was viciously pelted with hail" according to CBS Colorado - 100 people were injured and eight hospitalized! It wasn't a classical concert (it was a Louis Tomlinson concert), but it is the venue where the Colorado Symphony holds its summer symphony concerts.
So I thought it would be interesting to talk about the challenges of outdoor concerts and share stories. What do you find most challenging about outdoor concerts in your neck of the woods? Of course, you may be able to pick several things on this list, but pick the one that sticks out most to you. Is it cold, hot? Do you always get dozens of mosquito bites? Does the wind blow your music off the stand? Is there rain much of the time? Is it so humid that you have to use a spare violin? Please pick an answer, and then tell us your stories in the comments!
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