The Town of Herndon’s popular free Friday Night Live! summer concert series may have to stop rocking, the event’s chairman fears.
After moving to a streaming format last year, the hoped-for 2021 plan is to return to live shows in July with limited capacity.
However, budgetary challenges may prevent that from happening.
In a letter to supporters, the series’ chairman Laura Poindexter wrote that specific line items would need to be approved in the upcoming Town of Herndon’s fiscal year 2022 budget in order for the concert series to continue.
While the event is produced by the Herndon and Dulles Regional chambers of commerce, organizers work very closely with the town, since it takes place on town property and requires public government services, such as a police presence and public works support for trash pick-up, fencing, and set-up.
With the town preparing to unveil a budget proposal on Thursday (April 1), the concern that these items will not be included stems from town budgetary concerns as well as other Herndon events already being canceled, including the Herndon Festival.
In her letter, Poindexter asks supporters to provide input and not to “delay letting your voice be heard” about how much Friday Night Live! means to the community.
The concert series first began in 1995 and is thought to be the longest-running free outdoor concert series in the D.C.-area. It traditionally starts the first week of May and runs through August, though the current plan for 2021 is to start on Friday, July 2.
Most often, the concert series hosts rock cover bands because they draw the largest crowds, Poindexter notes.
Poindexter tells Reston Now that up to 2,500 people attend the concerts held each Friday night in normal years. Two thirds of them typically come from outside of Herndon.
“It’s an economic development tool, to bring people to downtown Herndon,” she says. “That’s why it was created. I believe downtown businesses benefit greatly and rely on us. This year, after COVID, not to have it would be a shame.”
In a statement on the town’s website, Mayor Sheila Olem alludes to needed cuts due to budget constraints related to the pandemic:
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant, devastating impact on local economies, and Herndon has not been immune. While our sound fiscal practices have buffered the impact somewhat, we are — like jurisdictions across the region — experiencing decreases in most revenue categories. Accordingly, our budget planning is focused on continued provision of the core services our citizens expect and value – public works, public safety and those services that are integral to our infrastructure and day-to-day lives.
While Poindexter and other Friday Night Live! organizers did also send a letter to the town council highlighting their concerns, she says she has not heard one way or another if those needed line items will be included in the proposed budget. She did reiterate that the event has had a long-running, great relationship with the Town of Herndon.
“We just felt it was important for our fans to make their voices heard in relation to the budget,” she said.
Overall, Poindexter says it costs about $10,000 to put on each individual Friday Night Live! event. With about 16 or 17 dates a summer, that’s about $160,000 to $170,000 a season.
“Friday Night Live! is a fantastic community event, but it’s an expensive event to put on,” she said. “There’s a lot of costs involved. Besides town services and security, there’s port-a-potties, there’s music licenses, there’s bands.”
While the event is free to attendees, alcohol and other concessions are sold to bring in revenue.
Poindexter says organizers are planning for 50% capacity. Currently, Virginia allows for 30% capacity at outdoor entertainment venues, but she anticipates that changing to match the governor’s capacity restrictions from last summer.
If capacity is limited to under 50%, it would be hard to the concert series financially worthwhile, Poindexter acknowledges.
All in all, she’s confident that the town will realize how important Friday Night Live! — and other outdoor events like it — is for Herndon businesses and residents this year.
“We think [the series] is so important for not only the downtown businesses, especially the restaurants that really need to have a fantastic summer, but the emotional health and well-being for our fans,” Poindexter said. “We haven’t been able to get out and do things like outdoor events. So, I think that it’s needed on multiple levels.”
Photo courtesy Laura Poindexter
New Webpage for Reston Association Updates — RA has created a new landing page specific to updates related to COVID-19. Member services will open to RA members on June 1. Appointments should be made over the phone or via email. Visitors to RA headquarters must wear masks. [Reston Association]
Outdoor Space for Restaurants, Exercise Approved — “The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved emergency rules today that will allow restaurants and exercise facilities to reopen outside under the state’s Phase I guidelines. The ordinance takes effect immediately now that Gov. Northam has announced the county will enter Phase One.” [Fairfax County Government]
Summer Concerts and Independence Day Celebrations Canceled — “The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Summer Entertainment Series will be canceled through July due to public safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Fourth of July events have been canceled, too. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health-related guidelines continue to recommend against large gatherings.” [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Lunch in the Park Today in Reston Town Center — “Join co-presenters Reston Town Center Association and the Reston Community Center to welcome the GMU College of Visual and Performing Arts for Thursday Lunch in the Park! This week’s performance is NOVATEQ.” [Reston Town Center]
Brush Chipping by Reston Association — RA members can bring their brush for chipping at no cost to Lake Audubon Pool this weekend. Members are reminded not to dump grass clippings, dirt, vines, thorns or other debris. [Reston Association]
Chalking It Up for ChalkFest — “The iconic Public Art Reston sculpture, Mercury Fountain by Saint Clair Cemin, served as the backdrop for the sixth annual Chalk Fest at Reston Town Center on Saturday, Sept. 14. Presented by Public Art Reston in partnership with Reston Town Center, according to Anne Delaney, Executive Director of Public Art Reston, the Festival proved once again to be among the community’s most photogenic events.” [The Connection]
Staff Photo by Jay Westcott
This Labor Day weekend, the 13th annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival returns to Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday (August 31).
The festival features an afternoon and evening of jazz on the lake. It takes place from 1-8 p.m.
The following performers are set to take part in the festival, among others:
It is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza and sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne and the Lake Anne Plaza Merchants, with support from Reston Community Center.
Photo via Charlotte Geary Photography
The 13th annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Music Festival returns to Lake Anne Plaza on August 31.
The following groups and individuals are scheduled to perform:
- BIG Whitson
- Shacara Rogers
- The Vaughan
- Ambrose Octet
- Jamal A. Brown, Feedel Band
- Michael Pavone
The event is hosted by the Friends of Lake Anne and is sponsored by Lake Anne, Reston Community Center, Friends of Lake Anne and Foxes Music Company.
Photos via Charlotte Geary Photography
Several Teens Rob Juvenile — Police believe two to three teens assaulted a juvenile victim and stole his bike on the 1200 block of Herndon Parkway. The incident happened on August 8. [Herndon Police Department]
Texas Chainsaw Horns Concert Tonight — Enjoy rhythm and blues at the weekly summer concert series at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The event is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]
Leidos Secures Contract to Support Nuclear Detection Office — “The Operations Support and Studies II contract continues the Reston technology company’s work with the U.S. National Data Center, which detects and tracks nuclear-based events globally.” [The Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Attempted Auto Theft Goes Haywire — On Wednesday, the owner of an Audi S8 engine saw someone drive his car away near the 2000 block of Headlands Circle. The driver of the stolen car struggled to make it past a round-about, stopped at a dead end in the neighborhood and fled from the car. The incident happened a few minutes before midnight. [Fairfax County Police Department]
New Orleans Jazz Tonight at Reston Station Plaza — The New Line Brass Band brings funky New Orleans parade music to the plaza today from 7-9 p.m. [Reston Station]
Reston-based Fractal Industries Raises $79 Million — “A whole new ballgame is beginning for Reston-based Fractal Industries. The analytics and insurance software provider today announced it closed its Series A funding round totaling $78.6 million, led by Cannae Holdings and Motive Partners. Coinciding with the fresh round, the company changed its name to QOMPLX.” [American Inno]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church will host a book sale to help immigrants at the border on Sunday (July 21).
All proceeds from the event will go to the Refugees and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.
Only cash will be accepted during the sale, which runs from 1-4 p.m. The church is located at 1700 Wainwright Drive.
Tomorrow (July 20)
- Butterfly Count (9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Help count butterflies in the national areas of Reston and learn tips on identification. Data will be submitted to the North American Butterfly Association for inclusion in their Fourth of July Butterfly Count report.
- Otto the Auto (10:30-11:30 a.m.) — Otto the talking car gives kids lessons on traffic safety. The event is geared toward children between ages three and six.
- Family Fun Entertainment Series (10-10:45 a.m.) — Turley the Magician offers entertainment and itneractive magic at Reston Town Square Park. The event is free for all ages.
- Children’s Friendship Afternoon Tea (1-4 p.m.) — Scrawl Books hosts its very first childrens’ tea at Elden Street Tea Shop. The event also includes an affordable trunk show with American Girl authors reading at each afternoon tea sitting.
- Survivor Girl Launch Party (5-7 p.m.) — Celebrate the lunch of a middle-grade novel, “The Friendship Experiment,” at the Walker Nature Ceter. Writer Erin Teagen will host the party and introduce her new book.
- Books Alive (2:30-3:15 p.m.) — Students will explore age-appropriate stories through creative drama at Reston Regional Library. Registration is required for this event.
Sunday (July 21)
- Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy interactive theater at Reston Station Plaza. The event is free and open for all ages. Parking is free on weekend in the Metro Parking garage.
- Sunday Art in the Park with GRACE (5:30-7:30 p.m.) — Greater Reston Arts Center partners with Reston Community Center to offer creative activities at Reston Town Square Park.
- Sunday Art in the Park (7-8 p.m.) — Robert Larson, a professor of jazz, joins special guests for an evening of jazz trio standards at Reston Town Square Park. The event is presented by Reston Community Center and Reston Town Center Association.
- Family Dive-In Movie (8:30-10:15 p.m.) — RA pass holders can come to the Dogwood Recreation Area for free pool-side movies. Registration is not required and the event will be cancelled in the event of rain or possible rain.
Photo by Ray Copson
Six folk, bluegrass and blues bands are in the lineup for the fourth annual Lake Anne Roots Music Festival.
The festival, which features a beer and wine garden and fun for the whole family, is set for tomorrow (Saturday).
The event kicks off with the opening of taps at 11:30 am. Performances will take place through 8 p.m.
The event is sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne and Reston Community Center. It will take place at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza).
Saturday (July 13)
- Fairy Festival (10-11:30 a.m.) — Explore a woodland trail with fairy house and help build a fair house from natural materials.
- Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Young readers can take part in the weekly club at Scrawl Books. Each week, readers explore a new theme with picture books. Members who attend ten sessions receive a free book.
- Summer STEM (10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — Children between ages two and nine can learn how to build structure with a mix of materials at Reston Regional Library.
- Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy Motown and rock at Reston Station Plaza. The event is free and open for all ages.
- Family Fun Entertainment Series with Guava Jelly (10-10:45 a.m.) — The pair performs music infused with a “lively island feel” at Reston Town Square Park. The event is free and open for all ages.
Sunday (July 14)
- Jennifer Ryan at Scrawl Books (2 p.m.) — The author of “The Spies of Shilling Lane” will be on-site for a book signing. This is Ryan’s second novel.
- Summerbration Fun Brunch with a Stilt Walker, a Juggling and a Face Painter (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy a performance by a trio at Reston Station Plaza. The event is free for all ages. Parking is also free on weekends in the Metro Parking garage.
- Sunday Afternoon Dance (2:30-4:30 p.m.) — Dancers of all skills levels can dance the afternoon away at this drop-in event. Registration is $5 for Restonians and $10 for all others.
- Art in the Park with GRACE (5:30-7:30 p.m.) — Greater Reston Arts Center and the Reston Community Center welcome visitors to take part in creative art activities for all ages.
Photo via Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook
National recording artist JD McPherson will perform on Saturday, July 27 at Reston Town Center.
McPherson and his band, which is known for its 50s-style rock and rock and R&B tunes, are coming as part of RTC’s weekly Saturday night summer concert series. Concerts, which are free and open to the public, take place at the pavilion from 7:30-10 p.m.
RTC wrote the following about McPherson’s work:
His first album, 2012’s Signs & Signifiers, which included the breakout hit North Side Gal, was hailed as “an utterly irresistible, slicked-back triumph” by Mojo and “a rockin’, bluesy, forward- thinking gold mine that subtly breaks the conventions of most vintage rock projects” by All Music Guide. The Washington Post wrote that, “he and his bandmates are great musicians taking ownership of a sound, not just mimicking one.”
The best rock music has a story to tell. McPherson’s most recent album, the 2017 release Undivided Heart & Soul, chronicles a series of upheavals, frustrations, roadblocks, and kismet–a cross-country move, failed creative relationships, a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity, and learning to love making music again by letting go. That move, from his hometown of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to East Nashville, has greatly influenced his new crop of songs.
The summer concert series, which is in its 29th season, ends on August 24. A complete schedule is available online.
Photo via JD McPherson/Reston Town Center
Reston Regional Library and Scrawl Books are partnering to host an author talk and book signing with Julie Langsdorf and Angie Kim tomorrow (Saturday).
The event runs from 2-3:30 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.
Both authors have earned national praise for their work. Langsdorf lives in the District and teaches yoga. She has also won four individual artist awards from the Maryland State Arts Council.
Kim, a former editor of the Northern Virginia with her husband and three sons.
Tomorrow (June 22)
- Habitat Heroes (10 a.m. to noon) — Help Reston Association track down invasive plants like English ivy. Participants should park along North Shore Drive between Northgate Square and Wiehle Avenue. But be warned: there is poison ivy on this site.
- Family Fun Entertainment Series (10-10:45 a.m.) — Enjoy a one-woman circus by “Wheelie itty Wacky Silly Suitcase.” Parking is free on weekends at Reston Town Center.
- Robotics Workshop (1-4 p.m.) – Participants between ages 6 and 18 will learn how to build and program robots from legos and metal at Reston Regional Library. The event is presented by the Teen Advisory Board.
- Reston Concerts on the Town — Hard Day’s Night brings Beatles’ tunes to Reston Town Center. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket to grab a spot at the pavilion.
Sunday, June 23
- Sunday Art in the Park (7-8 p.m.) — Byron Jones, an associate professor of voice, performs a selection of classic songs from American musical theatre at Reston Town Square Park. The event is free and open to all.
- Summerbration Fun Brunch (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Enjoy a performance by Zig Zag the Magic Man at this weekly summer series at Reston Station Plaza. Parking is free on weekends in the Metro parking garage.
New Developments in Herndon High School Filming Case — Police unveiled 10 felony warrants against former Herndon HS drama teacher Raphael Schklwosky after residents contacted the police department with information about unlawful filming at the school. So far, police have identified 10 victims that can be recognized based on pictures and videos. [Fairfax County Police Department]
A Welcome to Expel — Herndon-based Expel secured $40 million in funding. The company offers cloud-based security services. Overall, it has rounded up more than $67 million in funding. [Citybizlist]
Get in the Groove at Reston Station — Scott Kurt and Memphis 59 will perform at Reston Station Plaza tonight from 7-9 p.m. This week’s performance also includes live dance instruction. [Reston Station]
Learning Tree Branches Out — Herndon-based Learning Tree International and Columbus Technologies and Services have partnered up to expand their modern learning solutions audience. [Citybizlist]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Summer Food Service Program Kicks Off — County schools are participating in a program to ensure that students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals continue to receive meals when school is out of session. Meals will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Foster Care Information Meeting — Learn more fostering or adopting a child in during this information meeting at Reston Regional Library from 6:30-8 p.m. The meeting will be led by Patricia Aviles-Cubillos from the Fairfax County Department of Family Services. [Reston Regional Library]
Take a Break Concert Tonight — Bad Influence takes the stage today at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The blues and roots performance is open to audiences of all ages. [Reston Community Center]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
During Sunday’s music festival, performers will take to the outdoor stage at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon to raise funds for a local literacy program.
The event, “Turn Up the Volumes,” is set for Sunday (June 9) from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the tavern, which is located at 697 Spring Street in Herndon.
The festival is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Herndon’s Imagination Library program.
In the program, members mail a book each month to children in Herndon from their birth to age 5.
Since the initiative began in 2005, the club has mailed more than 100,000 books to children.
The event, which features Big Whitson, Catchin’ Toads, Bald Chicken Brown, and Acoustic Mutiny, is free and open to all.
Reston’s outdoor venues will come to life this summer as Reston Community Center puts on six entertainment series over the next several weeks.
“Everyone likes to get outside in the fresh air during the summer months,” said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon. “RCC is taking our ‘show on the road’ with these series and bringing people together right where they are. We want families and friends to enjoy the spirit of Reston all summer long.”
In addition to traditional staples like Thursday dance nights at Lake Anne Plaza and performances at Town Square Park in Reston Town Center on Saturday mornings, RCC has added two new entertainment series to its line up.
In “Lunchtime with the Arts at Mason,” student performers from George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts offer free lunchtime concerts on select Thursdays until October 24 at Reston Town Center’s Town Square Park from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Performances range from show tunes to euphonium ensembles. The series kicked off on May 9.
Reston Station will be home to the “Summerbration Fun Brunch” series, which brings entertainment and activities to Reston Station Plaza starting tomorrow (June 1). Attendees will get the chance to enjoy music and engaging activities on Saturdays and Sunday through August 25. The program takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Parking is free on weekends in the Metro garage.
“Summerbration” concerts, which take place on Fridays from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Station, will continue this year. The concert schedule includes familiar groups like Scott Kurt & Memphis 59 and the band Oasis Island Sounds. Several concerts will also include professional dance instruction. Three hours of validated parking is available in the ParkX garage. The series ends on August 23. RCC presents this series in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. and Reston Station, the event’s host.
A Family Fun Entertainment Series in Reston Town Center’s Town Square Park also continues on Saturdays from 10-10:45 a.m. This series is geared toward kids and begins on June 15. The series is presented by RCC in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. and is hosted by Reston Town Center Association. Garage parking is free on Saturdays.
On Sundays, Sunday Art in the Park with the Shenandoah Conservatory continues at Town Square Park. The first performance is set for Sunday (June 2) from 7-8 p.m. This series is presented by RCC and Reston Town Center Association in cooperation with Shenandoah University.
All series are free and open to the public.
Photo courtesy Reston Community Center