- Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine
Napa City Nights is Back!
Napa City Nights Free Summer Concert Series will be kicking off its 11th season on June 8! It’s grown in popularity over the years, and if you’ve attended, you know why.
Nestled along the Napa River Walk, the Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheater is a picturesque venue in the heart of downtown Napa within walking distance to restaurants and shops. The music starts each Friday at 6:30pm and is brought to the community by an all-volunteer group of musicians, music lovers and amazing sponsors.
Napa City Nights (NCN) is proud to sustain the music vibe of downtown Napa and to feature highly talented artists. When it began in 2008, the organizers had a vision to bring a free, family-friendly concert series to locals and tourists alike, and to give musicians a place to showcase their talent. “How cool is it to know that on a Friday after working hard all week—you can grab the family and friends—meet up to have dinner in or around Veterans Park and enjoy free music?” said Sue Chesbrough, NCN event emcee. The concert series also features local vendors offering pizza, hot dogs, gourmet picnic boxes and ice cream.
It’s a labor of love for the NCN Team. The first year, organizers brought in their personal sound equipment and the bands played for free. Thanks to the generous sponsorships and donations, NCN has been able to pay the bands and continue to enhance the concert series. In addition, Napa City Nights has an internship program to teach concert production and sound engineering.
Also in the first year, organizers had to scramble to find enough bands to play. “Now we have 250+ bands that apply for the 36 spots every year. Ultimately, the committee strives to put on the best show we can on any given night,” said NCN event director, Chris Chesbrough.
The format is the same each week. An eclectic line up of talented live performances. An acoustic solo or small group performs from 6:30pm to 7:00pm; the next band performs from 7:15pm to 8:00pm; and then from 8:15pm to 10:00pm, it’s always a fun, energetic band that people want to get up and dance to.
Things have definitely changed over the years. Around 200 people attended each Friday night during the first year. Now people show up early to get a good spot. Napa City Nights is the place to be on a summer Friday night, drawing as many as 1,000 attendees.
Sue admitted that the crew can get a little low on steam by the end of the season, but the energy of the community always keeps them going. What also keeps them going is the amazing food donated to the crew each Friday night by local restaurants. “We are humbled by the incredible support of our community, especially when we hear them saying how we’re helping to make memories for families and friends,” said Sue.
Napa City Nights would not be the success it is without the generous support of such amazing sponsors who continue to support live music year after year.
Visit Napa City Nights on Facebook and Twitter or at napacitynights.com
June 8th to August 24th Veterans Memorial Amphitheater
Corner of Third & Main Streets
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