Music On the Green 2020
Ani DiFranco at Strings Music Festival

John Fog and Denton Turner perform in Strings’ free series Music On the Green at Yampa River Botanic Park, August 14 2020.

This summer our free outdoor concerts will return to a full lineup. In 2020 the series introduced new elements allowing it to continue safely during the pandemic. We connected with seven musicians and staff to chat about their experiences on the Green last summer:

What was a highlight of the summer 2020 Music On the Green series for you?

Jon Gibbs and Randy Kelley

Jon Gibbs & Randy Kelley, July 31, 2020

• “Playing for humans instead of furniture!” –Randy Kelley, musician
• “That we were able to hire local musicians after all and provide performance opportunities to our talented local artists.” –Katie Carroll, director of artistic administration & education, Strings Music Festival
• “Being asked to perform AND having an opportunity to perform responsibly in the midst of covid was definitely a highlight!” –Hayley Berg, musician
• “Welcoming people in and thanking them as they left— to see the smiles under the masks! Knowing that all of the time and energy we spent figuring out how to pull it all off was worth it.” –Jennifer MacNeil, executive director, Yampa River Botanic Park

Is there something different about concerts in a space like the Botanic Park?

Hayley & Mike

Hayley & Mike on the Green August 28, 2020

• “The natural beauty of my hometown.” –Adia Clark Lay, musician
• “The stage is in the middle of an open space completely surrounded by the audience, which is a fun twist.” –Mike Martinez, musician
• “It’s so egalitarian. As an audience, we’re in a public park listening to talented musicians for free.” –Katie Carroll, Strings
• “Getting to spread out a blanket, sit in the shade or sun, and look at the pond and greenery while listening to local music is a treat.” –Hayley Berg, musician

Why is music important to you?

Adia Clark Lay

Adia Clark Lay kicks off the series July 17, 2020

• “I like singing and dancing when nobody’s watching. Music can lift my spirits if I’m feeling down or make me cry if it pulls at my heartstrings.” –Jennifer MacNeil, Yampa River Botanic Park
• “It gives me a space to speak my mind in a creative way. As a songwriter, it is always a gift to have an audience member share how they connect with my songs.” –Adia Clark Lay, musician
• “Musical lyrics are storytelling set to a beat and give us looks at life that perhaps we’ve never thought of before.” –Smitty Bell, production director, Strings
• “Music is the thing I study pretty much all the time. It is the universe, expressed in vibration.” –Randy Kelley, musician

There are some theories that plants appreciate music. What are your thoughts on that?

• “Music has a powerful way of washing over you as a living being. It’s helped grow so much and I imagine it has the ability to evoke the same response for plants at Yampa River Botanic Park.” –Adia Clark Lay, musician
• “The scientist in me says there is no proof that plants have any benefit from music. But the Botanic Park is magical and maybe over the years the live concerts helped our trees grow and tower over the Green!” –Jennifer MacNeil, Yampa River Botanic Park
• “Plants eat sunlight, and music feels like sunlight, right? I’m with it!” –Katie Carroll, Strings
• “I would imagine so with the sound waves and vibrations grooving them.” –Mike Martinez, musician
• “Makes sense to me! Sounds like we need to keep up the tradition of Music On the Green!” –Hayley Berg, musician