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Sep 2, 2019 2:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Good Ground Park Summer Concert Series Wraps Up Highest Turnout Season

Southampton Town held the final concert of the season at Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays on August 29. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Sep 4, 2019 12:30 PM

Southampton Town wrapped up its summer concert series in Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays with a final show on Thursday night, August 29, marking the end of a successful third season.

Local cover band P.M. Overdrive performed in the park’s outdoor amphitheater to a lively crowd of about 500 people, while some ate dinner that they ordered from a local restaurant, and others slurped on sno-cones from the Kona Ice food truck parked behind the crowd.

The park was full of lawn chairs, blankets, strollers and dog leashes, as families and friends met up in the late afternoon to enjoy the show. The parking lot filled up before the show began, and remaining concertgoers had to park along Squiretown Road, Montauk Highway or at the train station parking lot and walk over.

That was the normal scene at each of the nine concerts held there on Thursday nights this summer, the most shows in one season so far. The concert series began in 2017, the year the park officially opened, and turnout has grown into the hundreds each year, according to Town Parks Director Kristen Doulos.

“There’s been a lot of good feedback that some people — they were just discovering the park for the first time and saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, I didn’t know this was here. This is so great. We’re going to come all the time now,’” Ms. Doulos said.

Beginning this summer, the Good Ground Farmers Market took place at the Montauk Highway entrance of the park just before the concerts began at 7 p.m., so some locals would stop by there before heading in.

For many attendees, Thursday night’s show was not their first.

“This past summer, I retired, so I was looking for things to do that would be fun,” said Ginny Kellogg, a Hampton Bays resident and former teacher in the Southampton School District. “I came maybe a month ago, and I’ve come to each one since. And each one is better than the next. It’s amazing.”

Ms. Kellogg came alone to past shows, which she said she enjoyed doing, but some family members were meeting her that night.

Another Hampton Bays resident, Lin Restivo, has been coming to the concerts with family and friends since they began in 2017. Before the band started to play, she said she was disappointed that this year’s season was already wrapping up.

“I was saying to my sister-in-law, it’s too bad that they don’t extend it into September, because it’s such a good month,” she said. “It’s still nice, and maybe switch it from Thursday to a weekend, because kids are back in school.”

Other acts this season included Long Island-based rock acts Nancy Atlas, Eagle River Band, The Complete Unknowns and Southbound.

The town has been making improvements to Good Ground Park every year, and this year it built permanent restrooms and added stamped concrete and a pergola at the top of the amphitheater to make the area more wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.

For future seasons, Ms. Doulos said that her department wants to explore bringing more diverse acts into the series that can introduce different styles and cultures.

“All the bands we had were really great, but we’re always looking to add new, interesting and, like, cultural types of experiences. So that’s something we’re thinking that we want to focus on a little bit more this year,” she said.

The Parks and Recreation Department is now turning its focus toward holiday events at the park, like a Halloween event and a tree and menorah lighting ceremony in the winter.

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Too bad it took 30 years to build this park. I dont live there anymore. I cant hear the music from Florida.
By jim (48), hampton bays on Sep 6, 19 2:13 PM