Lake County Forest Preserves to host concert series

Seven concerts slated at Independence Grove; new one set at Greenbelt Cultural Center

LIBERTYVILLE – Attention music lovers, dance lovers and outdoors lovers. Get ready for award-winning performers playing under the stars at the annual Concerts in the Plaza music series.

Concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays from June 22 through July 27 at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville.

The seven concerts will be at the preserve’s outdoor Millennia Plaza that overlooks a 115-acre lake.

A new concert has been added at the outdoor amphitheater at Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago.

From the Beatles to the blues, rock and bluegrass to swing and jazz, there’s something for just about any music taste in this season’s entertainment lineup.

This year’s concerts are supported by North Shore Gas (platinum sponsor), Libertyville Bank and Trust (bronze sponsor) and the Lake County Journal (media sponsor).

Here is the concert lineup:

  • June 22: De Hurricane Reggae Band won the Chicago Music Award for Best Reggae Entertainer in 2018. Get ready to experience a true Caribbean vibe and a total party package with reggae, soca, calypso, a little jazz and blues and a taste of real island culture and sound.
  • June 29: The Chicago Skyliners Big Band was formed in 1988 for the purpose of prolonging the musical memory of the big band era. Blue Birdland Jazz recording artists, the Chicago Skyliners Big Band features the music of Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Sammy Nestico, Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson. A house band at FitzGerald’s nightclub in Berwyn since 1991, The Chicago Skyliners Big Band is one of the top big bands in the Chicago area.
  • July 6: The North 41 is back by popular demand. One of the Chicago area’s hottest up-and-coming bands, the group has an irresistible funk and groove. The band has supported acts such as The Main Squeeze and Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers. The North 41 also will be at the Summer Camp Music Festival on Aug. 20-22 at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois.
  • July 13: Mason Rivers is a high-energy country band that covers the best of today’s country music as well as the classics. The band was formed from some of the finest musical talent in the Chicago area. Strong male and female lead vocalists and a rich diversity of musical skills result in an exciting sound that’s bigger than country and stronger than rock.
  • July 20: Kaleidoscope Eyes pays homage to the Beatles. Audiences in the Chicago area rave about this crowd-engaging band.
  • July 27: Rico’s hypnotic blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms is heavily influenced by the sound and spirit of Santana. The band creates a fiery, soulful sound through bass, congas, percussion, drums, timbales, keyboards and guitar.
  • Aug. 3: An Adam Ezra Group performance is a community-driven experience, propelled by the spirit of the audience. Hailing from Boston, the roots rock band takes an unconventional approach to the music world. The band has opened for the Wallflowers, John Oates, Graham Parker and America.

New concert at Greenbelt

The John Primer blues band will perform at 7:30 p.m. June 24 in the outdoor amphitheater at the Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago. The concert will be livestreamed and recorded and available for viewing at The musician brings his signature electric slide guitar, soulful R&B vocals and the influence of blues legends he has played with, including Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Willie Dixon and Magic Slim. In June, John Primer performs at the Chicago Blues Festival and is headlining at Buddy Guy’s Legends. Bring chairs and blankets. Arrive at Greenbelt early as parking is limited. Cars are turned away when the parking lot is full. To help offset the cost to host this concert, there is a vehicle entrance fee of $10. There is no rain date.

“The concerts have always been a popular attraction during the summer. We are thrilled to add a new concert at Greenbelt this season,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves.

Independence Grove entrance fee and concert details

Entrance fee is $10 a car after 5 p.m. on event nights. For safety and as a courtesy to preserve neighbors, park only in preserve lots. Cars will be turned away when parking lots are full.

For concert reminders, weather updates or to learn if a concert has been canceled, call 847-968-3499 or get updates via Twitter. There is no rescheduling if a concert is canceled.

Concerts are open to all ages. Bring a blanket or lawn chair for seating. Arrive early to secure your spot.

Pack a picnic or purchase a light dinner, snack or beverage from the preserve’s walk-up café or from the new Beer Garden at Independence Grove.

To make your concert outing more memorable, call 847-968-3499 to reserve a pontoon boat for your group of up to six.

With the exception of service animals, dogs, horses and other pets are not permitted at Independence Grove.