By Terry Rogers
Starting August 3, the Happiness Project began offering free concerts at the Milford Public Library amphitheater. Concerts are every Wednesday evening starting at 6 PM. The concerts are designed to be an extension of the Music in the Park series sponsored by the library in July.
“Our one-day festival at Avenue United Methodist Church was so successful, Candy Fortner and I didn’t want to leave Milford and wanted to provide another, smaller community event,” Jason Burlew, who co-founded and co-organizes the event with Ms. Fortner, said. “The library is the perfect venue because it is easy to find, easy for people to walk up to and enjoy the music and it is a beautiful piece of Milford. This is not a fundraiser for us and its completely free. We just wanted to bring another community event to Milford that everyone could enjoy.
On July 9, the Happiness Project Music Festival was held at Avenue United Methodist Church with 32 performers from seven different states. The festival was designed to bring awareness to mental health issues. The festival included an area where local mental health organizations could reach out to the community and provide additional education about mental health offerings in the area.
“Despite the fact that there were 32 different performers in July, there were several we did not get to feature for some reason or another,” Mr. Burlew said. “This summer concert series allowed us to invite them to experience Milford like the other who performed at the festival. We have seven performers scheduled, three who were at the festival and four who were not.”
The concert series began with Thomas Plummer of Dover on August 3 and Shelby Blondell of Baltimore performed on August 9. Janelle, an R&B/soul singer from Baltimore will perform on August 17 along with Fast As Lightning, a classic rock group from Annapolis. Janelle begins at 6 PM with Fast and Furious beginning at 6:45 PM. On August 24, Lexi Brinsfield, a pop singer from Dover appears at 6 PM. On August 31 the concert series will feature Ken Shiles & Ci Bon, an acoustic rock duo from New Jersey at 6 PM and Dynasty Marie, an acoustic singer and songwriter from New Jersey at 6:45 PM.
“Since we are an outside group, we moved our concerts up an hour earlier to make sure we were finished well before the library closed,” Mr. Burlew said. “Anyone is welcome to the concerts. We strongly suggest bringing chairs or blankets to sit on. Unfortunately, there will be no refreshments, so concert goers will have to pack a picnic dinner or visit one of the local downtown restaurants before or after the concert.”
Kay Hudson of the Milford Library said that the library has made the amphitheater available for the concert series and that restrooms will be available to concert goers at the library. Mr. Burlew said that he and Ms. Fortner plan to meet in the next few weeks to see if there is the possibility of extending the concert into September.