29 Apr Concerts on the Square will return this summer — just not on the Square
They’re still being called “Concerts on the Square” — but for 2021, one of Madison’s most popular summer outings will take place a mile east of the Capitol.
The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra announced Wednesday that it will bring back a five-concert season of lively outdoor concerts this year featuring its professional orchestra and guest solo headliners. However, this year’s Concerts on the Square — which typically draw crowds of up to 50,000 or more to Capitol Square — will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesdays from July 7 to Aug. 4 at Breese Stevens Field, 917 E. Mifflin St.
Only about 1,500 audience members will be admitted to the stadium for socially distanced seating, and will pay $5 or more each to reserve a spot. Traditionally, Concerts on the Square are free, but this year admission fees will support wages for the orchestra’s 34 musicians, who like other performing artists across the world have been hard-hit economically by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The admission fee “is a way to make sure we support our musicians and is another way to manage crowd control” in light of safety precautions required due to the pandemic, said Joe Loehnis, CEO of the WCO.
The concerts also will be livestreamed for free so Madisonians can watch and listen from their backyards and front porches — maybe with a picnic supper in keeping with Concerts on the Square tradition, Loehnis said.