Towson area to ring in summer with free Feet on the Street concert series

Elizabeth Palmieri has had the first Feet on the Street summer concert marked on her calendar since January.

The West Towson resident has loyally attended the annual event on Allegheny Avenue for years, setting up a circle of lawn chairs every Friday with her wife, son, parents and friends. “We make an entire evening out of this,” she said.

The free concerts are a warm-weather tradition, so when the concert series starts this Friday, May 18, with a performance from the band Jury, it will mark the start of summer, Palmieri said.

“It really is one of the best ways to spend a Friday evening in the summertime,” Palmieri said. “It’s nice outside, it’s pretty shaded, and everybody just gets together and listens to great music.”

The Friday concerts in Towson, which run until Sept. 28, will also feature a bar with beer, wine and cocktails, a moon bounce and face-painting.

Nancy Hafford, who organizes the event as the director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, compared it to a “flash mob,” saying the organization recommends people bring their own chairs.

The chamber hosts the event to draw people to downtown in the early evenings, which benefits restaurants and bars, Hafford said.

In the years Feet on the Street has been held, Hafford said, she has seen a shift: People now often prefer to stay in the suburbs for weekend entertainment rather than head into downtown Baltimore.

“Before we did this, we were a 9-to-5 kind of town,” Hafford said, adding that Feet on the Street “keeps people staying here — that’s the whole purpose.”

Hafford said the event costs $3,500 per night to put on, with the money raised entirely from the sale of drinks like orange crushes. It can draw between 1,000 and 1,500 people, up from about 300 when it first started 12 years ago, she said.

Feet on the Street is not the only game in town on Friday nights.

On June 1, Hunt Valley Towne Centre’s free weekly series Friday Night Live kicks off at 7 p.m. with Dixon Ulmer Band.

And at Belvedere Square just over the city line, the free concert series Summer Sounds plays Fridays at 6 p.m., starting May 25 with a concert by Kelly Bell Band.

“There’s something for everyone,” said Lauren Bubb, marketing assistant for MacKenzie Management Co., which manages Belvedere Square.

In addition to concerts, food vendors and a kids’ zone, Bubb said Summer Sounds this year will have a “mobile makerspace” from Open Works Baltimore, where kids and adults can create crafts.

The 14-year-old concert series draws an average of 2,500 to 3,000 people per night, and has grown especially in the past three years, Bubb said.

The following are the schedules for the free Friday night music:

Feet on the Street, Towson (6:30 p.m.)

May 18: Jury

May 25: Crushing Day

June 1: Starcrush

June 8: That’s What She Said

June 15: Carronne Jones & Company

June 22: Crushing Day

June 29: Chubby Hoo Hoo

July 6: That’s What She Said

July 13: Jury

July 20: Crushing Day

July 27: Appaloosa

Aug. 3: TBA

Aug. 10: TBA

Aug. 17: Kitty Back

Aug. 24: Crushing Day

Aug. 31: Jury

Sept. 7: TBA

Sept. 14: That’s What She Said

Sept. 21: Crushing Day

Sept. 28: TBA

Summer Sounds, Belvedere Square (6 p.m.)

May 25: Kelly Bell Band

June 1: That’s What She Said

June 8: The Remainders

June 15: Mambo Combo

June 29: Ricky Wise and the Dirty Unit

July 6: Nelly’s Echo

July 13: Sons of Pirates

July 20: Tumblehome

July 27: The Long Run

Aug. 3: Essential Vybe

Aug. 10: Junkyard Saints

Aug. 17: Crushing Day

Aug. 24: New Romance

Aug. 31: Ruthie and the Wranglers

Sept. 7: The Crawdaddies

Friday Night Live, Hunt Valley Towne Centre (7:30 p.m.)

June 1: Dixon Ulmer Band

June 8: Sons of Pirates

June 15: Remains of Radio

June 22: The Fugitives

June 29: Mister Wilson

July 6: Sagamore

July 13: Appaloosa

July 20: The Josh Christina Band

July 27: The Reagan Years

Aug. 3: Don’t Stop

Aug. 10: Different Sisters

Aug. 17: Junkyard Saints

Aug. 24: The Klassix

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