The Return of Rainbow Summer
17 years after it ended, revived version of outdoor entertainment series returns to Marcus Center.
A downtown tradition is returning for the first time in 17 years.
Rainbow Summer, the venerable outdoor entertainment series, is coming back to the Marcus Performing Arts Center.
The 2021 installment will run on Thursday evenings starting July 15th and conclude September 16th. The first version of the series ran in 1975, with the Rainbow Summer brand being introduced in 1981, and the series continuing into a new century before it ended.
Rainbow Summer redux is the first event slated for the center’s reworked outdoor campus. The controversial removal of the Kiley tree grove has given way to a new lawn that effectively expands the footprint of the Peck Pavilion. The fountain near N. Water St. was removed in favor of what is currently a large tent.
A nine-by-16-foot video wall was installed alongside a new speaker system to allow those on the lawn to see and hear the shows taking place on the pavilion stage.
The new layout accommodates multiple ticket types. There are reserved seats in the stadium-style seating bowl as well as reserved pods in the lawn.
Chairs and blankets can be carried in for the lawn, but no carry-in food or beverage items are permitted.
The music lineup includes a mix of local performers and national acts.
Rainbow Summer will join Chill on the Hill as two of the only music series taking place in 2021. The pandemic drastically altered the festival landscape. Jazz in the Park and River Rhythms are currently postponed for the second straight year.
The Marcus Performing Arts Center website has more details on ticket pricing, reservations and COVID-19 safety procedures.
- July 15 — Movie: Cinderella – Free
- July 22 — Marc Broussard – $15
- July 25 (Sunday) — Kids from Wisconsin – Free
- July 29 — Movie: Center Stage – Free
- August 5 — Chicken Wire Empire – $5
- August 12 — Movie: Footloose – Free
- August 19 — Billy and the Downliners
- August 26 — KLASS & The Student Body present “Back 2 Skool”: (KLASSIK) – $5
- September 2 — De La Buena – $5
- September 9 — DLC Dance – $5
- September 16 — Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience – $15
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