Music
May 22, 2013 • 06:42:15 p.m.

Aurora’s RiverEdge Park to offer summer of music, events

By ERIC SCHELKOPF - eschelkopf@shawmedia.com

The new RiverEdge Park Music Garden will open this summer with Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy as the closing act at the 17th annual Blues on the Fox festival on June 14 and 15. (Sandy Bressner - sbressner@shawmedia.com)

AURORA – The city of lights will soon become the city of music.

Aurora’s new outdoor entertainment venue – RiverEdge Park Music Garden – will kick off its inaugural season June 14 and 15 with the 17th annual Blues on the Fox festival, which will feature acts such as Chicago’s own Buddy Guy, Dr. John, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Stone Foxes, Tommy Castro and The Painkillers and Robert Randolph and The Family Band.

Area press, including the Kane County Chronicle, were recently given a behind-the-scenes look at the new $13 million venue, which has a capacity of between 8,500 and 10,500 people. From June 3 to 9, RiverEdge Park will hold public tours of the facility. More information is available by going to www.RiverEdgeAurora.com.

RiverEdge Park is anchored by the John C. Dunham performance pavilion, which boasts state-of-the art acoustics.

“You feel like you are surrounded by sound,” said RiverEdge Park architect David Steele, of Chicago-based Muller + Muller architectural firm.

Living up to its name, RiverEdge Park is located along the Fox River at 360 N. Broadway Ave. near downtown Aurora and across from the Metra station. A sound wall was built to block noise coming from the busy street.

The venue’s architects drew inspiration from Milwaukee’s popular Summerfest in constructing the venue’s plywood stage.

“Plywood has a nice spring, a nice sound,” Steele said.

Two Brothers Roundhouse, which is located directly across the street from RiverEdge Park, is the park’s official food vendor and will also sell Two Brothers’ craft beers. In addition, 10 to 12 local restaurants will serve a variety of food at the park.

Tim Rater, president and CEO of the Aurora Civic Authority, said he hopes RiverEdge Park will boost Aurora’s profile as a growing and vibrant destination for live entertainment. RiverEdge Park is managed and programmed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority, which also oversees operations for the Paramount Theatre and the Copley Theatre, both in Aurora.

Loretta Lynn, Randy Travis, B.B. King and Peter Frampton are among the other artists set to perform this summer at RiverEdge Park. More artists will be announced in coming weeks, Rater said.

In addition, RiverEdge Park will host a number of other activities throughout the summer, such as the Amped Up Adventure Race on June 16 and a sing-a-long featuring the movie “Grease” on Aug. 9.

“Every weekend we will have something going on,” said Jim Jarvis, director of communications and sales for the Paramount Theatre.

RiverEdge Park is the centerpiece in a 10-year master plan for the city of Aurora. Future plans include building a pedestrian bridge to connect the east and west sides of the Fox River.

RiverEdge Park was constructed by the city of Aurora through a combination of grants and donations from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Fox Valley Park District and The Dunham Fund.

Tickets to all RiverEdge Park events are on sale now at www.RiverEdgeAurora.com.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling 630-896-6666, or at RiverEdge’s satellite box office, the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora.


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