The 2017 Idyllwild Summer Concert Series that once looked as if it would be cancelled is set to go. Some lineup details are still being worked out, including the closing act for the series, but most of the lineup is in place.
Because the Idyllwild Community Center site that has allowed the ISCS will be closed for construction during the summer of 2017, the popular series looked as if it would be homeless this year. But local businessman Jay Johnson offered his property, directly across from ICC, for this year’s eight-concert series. “I just wanted to help the community,” said Johnson.
ISCS Producer Ken Dahleen and his board have worked out the infrastructure challenges and the series is set to begin on Thursday, July 6. Challenges included installing a new power pole by Southern California Edison and substantial new county permitting fees that significantly increased the series’ budget. Fortunately, Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington awarded a grant of $2,500 to ISCS to help defray infrastructure budget increases that arose from having to stage the series in an entirely new location. The series is set to return to ICC, in its new amphitheater, in the summer of 2018, if construction moves as presently scheduled.
And who better to open the 2017 series than wildly popular Lisa Haley and her Zydekats. Haley and group serve up Cajun- and Creole-spiced music that has proven an infectious dance-inducing bayou bounty. Lisa and her Kats take the stage at 7 p.m. on July 6.
Each year, Dahleen and the board begin the series without full funding. They contract headliners and support acts without knowing if community donations and sponsor support will fully fund the series. There is no admission charge for the eight-week series. It is scheduled on Thursdays as an entertainment gift and opportunity for locals, not on weekends when more tourists would be in town. And, for all the years the series has been offered, the community has responded generously to support and anchor Dahleen’s budgetary gamble.