Are you a lover of music? If you live in the coastal towns of Delaware, you are in luck. Music is plentiful pretty much year-round.
Venues range from local restaurants and bars that host (for free) excellent local and regional musicians to more elaborate productions with “name artists” that might demand a hefty ticket fee.
One of the most popular local groups – Bettenroo – takes off for their summer concerts in Vermont in early June but there is still time to catch some shows in May. They return in August. Think of them as a female version of Simon and Garfunkel with a twist of Indigo Girls. They can also do a “snappy version” of Motown hits. Very versatile.
Do you like off-beat Spaghetti Western/slightly Latin music? Hot Sauce is the ticket. The band circulates among local venues and the trumpet player takes the band’s sound to a whole new level. Most of their shows also are free at local restaurants and parks.
The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand offers a huge array of free concerts. It has quite a history dating back to 1963. Event organizers bring in a variety of musicians to the stage every Friday, Saturday and Sunday all summer long – Memorial Day through Labor Day. They start at 8 pm and end about 9:15 – 9:30 pm. Concerts this summer range from a Neil Diamond tribute show, the United States Navy Concert Band, and Love Seed Mama Jump. Local favorite The Funsters entertain on July 2 before and after Rehoboth’s spectacular fireworks display. Popular acts draw large crowds, and the permanent benches fill up, so it is best to get to the concert venue early or bring your own lawn chair. Permit parking went into effect on May 15, but parking is free in designated areas starting at 5 pm.
Milton’s free Concerts in the Park returns June 1 with a variety of acts performing on Wednesday nights starting at 7 pm. Just bring a lawn chair and cozy up to the gazebo that overlooks the Broadkill River. Or, arrive early and kayak on the river before the concert. Quest Adventures has rental kayaks for use. In case of rain, the concerts will be held in the Milton Fire Hall. The June 1 concert is Food Pantry Collection Night.
The City of Lewes sponsors its own free concert series at Stango Park on Tuesday nights from 7-8:30pm starting June 6th.
The Milton Theater is serving up a mixture of bands and Broadway musicals this summer both in the indoor space and the Quayside outdoor venue. Performances range from a Tina Turner tribute to a “cabaret Spectacular” called Disney Delights. Shows are reasonable priced, and the theater has been recently renovated.
A bit higher on the price scale are the acts at the Freeman Arts Pavilion, in Selbyville. Its lineup features tribute bands and local musicians, but it includes some major names in the music world. Among them are Styx, Three Dog Night, The Steve Miller band, Dionne Warwick and Brandi Carlile.
On any given night music is alive and well at many local restaurants from Dewey to Milton including Bottle and Cork, Nalu, Revelation Brewery, Dogfish Head, Bluecoast, Thompson Island Grill, The Pond, Bethany Blues, Irish Eyes and more. Seek and ye shall find.
By Mary Jo Tarallo, Guest Journalist
Mary Jo Tarallo spent much of her career in public relations with various non-profits and spent 40 years involved with the ski industry as a journalist, public relations director for a national trade association and as executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard initiative. Prior to her ski industry involvement she worked for the Maryland International Center in Baltimore and United Way of Central Maryland. She won a Gold Award for TV programming for a United Way simulcast that starred Oprah Winfrey. She has been cited for her work by numerous organizations. Mary Jo grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland and Towson University, lived in Washington, DC for 21 years and has been a full time resident of Rehoboth Beach and Milton since May 2019.