By Christian Thompson
Joining the Memorial Day weekend celebrations marking the coming of summer, Tarara Winery’s Summer Concert Series opens its season on Saturday night with ’80 music powerhouse The Reflex.
The series, which recently took Visit Loudoun’s award for Best Annual Event, will feature live music at Tarara’s spectacular outdoor venue every Saturday through the end of September.
The Reflex, an ’80s cover band that performs everything from Van Halen to Prince, will open and close the series, but during the 17 weeks of concerts in between, there’s a performer, if not several, for everyone.
A few of the highlights include Still Surfin’, a Beach Boys tribute band that performs June 2; the Brencore Allstars, who will be bringing some of Motown’s greatest hits to the Summer Series on Aug. 11; and Beatlemania Magic, who return to Tarara on June 23 with all of the costumes and stage-magic that makes them one of the must-see Beatles cover bands.
Bill Kropniak, guitarist and vocalist for Beatlemania Magic, was complimentary of both the venue and its attendees when asked about his past experience performing at Tarara.
“Year after year we are well received by a very welcoming energetic audience singing along to all the songs,” said Kropniak. “We can’t wait to put on another “fab” show this year at a very “fab” venue.”
The Tarara Summer Concert Series has grown exponentially since it began as a much simpler affair on the winery’s back deck 19 years ago. The series now takes place on its own stage overlooking Tarara’s Shadow Lake, features its own vendors, and sells out performances at 3,500 attendees.
Rusty Foster, who is the organizer for the series with his company, Bowtie Strategies, seems driven to continue raising the bar for the series.
“We love producing a schedule of bands that perform unique genres of music that will attract a diverse crowd,” he said. “I think we’ve accomplished something special by creating a fun event that is right for everyone. This will be [the series’] best year yet.”
When asked about winning Visit Loudoun’s award for Best Annual Event, Foster said he was “smiling from ear-to-ear.” It’s a deserved award for sure, but only seems to have stoked his ambition and vision for the series.
“There’s always room for improvement,” he said. “I won’t be satisfied until we sellout every concert, but then I’ll be thinking of how to grow it to the next level.”
The complete schedule for Tarara’s Summer Concert Series can be found on their website (tararaconcerts.com). Tickets can be purchased for each individual show, but true fans of the series are given the option to purchase discounted season passes as well, which allows access to every show the series has to offer. And with the quality of sights, songs, food and drink offered, it’s a season-long party you won’t want to miss.