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At long last, live music right in front of you: Shady Grove is on

Arden's Shady Grove returns July 11, but will only sell 220 tickets.
Arden's Shady Grove returns July 11, but will only sell 220 tickets. Photo of 2019 festival by Kevin Francis.
The concert gild is limiting ticket sales to 220, down from the 300 sold last year.

Delawareans largely denied live music of late because of the coronavirus will get a chance to hear it July 11 with the Shady Grove Music Fest in Arden.

“It’s the first live music in the area for pretty much four months,” said Ron Ozer, president of the Arden Concert Gild, which sponsors the outdoor event.

The festival is largely indie rock, he said, except for the closing act, Agent Zero Music, an electronic dance band from Philadelphia. It opens with Kitty Rotten, followed by No Sir E, Slomo Sapiens, Rngleader, St. James & The Apostles, Grocer, Scantron and Ali Awan.

The concert gild is limiting ticket sales to 220, down from the 300 sold last year and a far cry from the 1,200 who crowd the same area during the annual Arden Fair (which has been canceled this year). The gild also hopes to sell all tickets in advance, he said.

Even though Gov. John Carney asked beach bars to close Friday at noon for the Fourth of July weekend and told fireworks organizers to cancel the shows, nobody so far has suggested Shady Grove cancel.

“If we get any indication from the governor or the Department of Health that number are climbing in northern Delaware and they want to roll back, we may be forced to cancel,” Ozer said. “But we haven’t had any indication of that.”

Arden's Shady Grove returns July 11, but will only sell 220 tickets.
Arden’s Shady Grove returns July 11, but will only sell 220 tickets. Photo of 2019 festival by Kevin Francis.

Tickets are now on sale for $25 for the general public on the festival’s Eventbrite page, with discounts for early birds through Wednesday and for members of the umbrella Arden Gild.

Tickets are free for children under 12. The festival runs noon-9 p.m., with gates opening at 11 a.m. The festival occurs in a literal shady grove of trees downhill from Arden Gild Hall, with performers on a wooden stage and fans on chairs and blankets scattered nearby.

“You must wear a mask to enter,” the Eventbrite post said. “Safe distance (at least six feet) must be maintained between groups of people. Masks must be worn when leaving your area of the Shady Grove. Wash stations and sanitizer provided throughout the concert area.”

Circles will be painted on the ground to ensure safe distancing, Ozer said, noting the rules fit the current Phase 2 of reopening.

“There will be food trucks, beer and wine,” the post says, welcoming outside food but asking for no dogs.

“Proceeds benefit the Gild Hall Restoration Fund (and pandemic recovery!)” another post linked to the concert gild’s Facebook page concludes.

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