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It doesn’t matter what Mother Nature does this year, the show will go on in this season’s Concert in the Park series, beginning June 4, at the Richmond Community Ampitheater on South Street.
The concerts will be held on Thursday and Friday evenings at an earlier time, from 7-8:30 p.m., and will feature all styles of music.
“There will be no rain-outs,” said concert promoter Bob Moses. “If bad weather happens, the concerts will be moved to the City Hall Gym at 205 Summit. You’ll know if that happens by calling 816-776-2004, ext. 3 the concert extension after 4 p.m.”
Last year, nearly all of the concerts were rained out and/or had problems with the drainage situation from Southview Pool.
“Most of the drainage issues will be resolved by concert time,” Moses continued. “This is still a work in progress and is not a finished project by any means.”
Moses said a curb will be installed to “keep drainage from coming off the hill from the softball fields, the middle school and the soccer fields.” He said dirt work will be started soon, between the amphitheater and the ball fields, that may not be completed before the concerts begin.
“The Park Board is expanding the parking lot above the amphitheater,” said City Administrator Rick Childers. “A curb will be installed to help catch part of the water and take it down the boat ramp and into the lake. We’re working on the drainage system on the ball fields. There’s a spring in the hillside, plus a lot of run-off from that big hill to the east of the middle school. We’re working on channeling the water.”
When asked about the problem with a water leak at Southview Pool, which is uphill from the amphitheater, Moses said, “The pool leak was and is being fixed. There was more than one problem there, but with the last big rain there was no noticeable difference in the way things were looking.”
“We found no specific waterline break,” said Childers. “We’re adding a section to the slide and sealing around the slide fittings. Hopefully, that will cut down on water loss.”
The amphitheater also dealt with mud last spring as well. Childers said part of the problem was a force main that was seeping. It was replaced in March and the board feels that will take care of much of the mud problem at the amphitheater itself.
But, everything at the amphitheater can’t be done until all of the drainage problems are done. Moses said, “The city is helping in every way they can. They’re putting a gravel access road in behind the pool that will come to the west side of the stage. There is currently an access road on the east side, but moving it will allow us to square up the terraces which is another help with the drainage situation.”
“First, we have to take care of the drainage at the bottom. All of the emergencies have to come first,” Childers said. “We’re furiously hoping to have everything done by the first concert. We’re thin on manpower, and doing what we can.”
Concert-goers will want to know the concession stand in the new Southview pavilion will be open to sell food, drinks, candy and ice cream. A Recreation Department employee will run the stand from 6:30 – 9 p.m. on concert nights. Restrooms are located behind the concession area.
Other new announcements for the Concert in the Park and the amphitheater itself include better lighting, landscaping, and some permanent seating consisting of two to three rows of benches. A permanent dance floor is also in the early planning stages.
For the sake of clarification, Moses said the money for the amphitheater budget is kept separate from the City and Park Board.
Moses wants the public to know that the amphitheater is a great venue that churches and other organizations may rent to use. If sound reinforcement is necessary Ben Thompson, who is running sound for the concerts, has a small, medium and large sound set up to facilitate any needs. Moses stated the rates are “quite reasonable.” Those with questions regarding Thompson’s sound business may contact him at 816-405-7553.
For those that may not be able to get out to the concert, each concert will be videoed and played back on the local Channel 6 throughout the year. Moses said the recording is “an amateur recording only.”
The end of this month will be the addition of the Richmond Community Amphitheater and Concert in the Park series to the city’s Web site.
“We will have a calendar there, with all of the concert dates, names of the bands and the type of music they play,” said Moses. “You just go to www.cityofrichmondmo.org and click on ‘amphitheater.’ There’s also a link there just to know about the bands that will perform, and later I’ll have a link to all of the bands on file as a resource for anyone wanting to schedule a band.
“All of the bands that perform are either professional, or working bands, that perform at least two weekends every month. We have more professional bands this year than in the past,” said Moses. “These bands are used to getting paid, and they’re coming here to give us a free concert.”