Cambridge council says ‘let the music play’

"The Dweebs," along with all of the other performers scheduled for this summer's "in the park" events in Cambridge are still willing to perform as scheduled.

After an endless list of events getting canceled or postponed to future dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, area residents finally have something to look forward to taking place as scheduled. During the May 4 Cambridge City Council meeting, the council opted to continue with the city’s annual “Concerts in the Park” series.

The concerts, which kick off on Thursday, June 4 with “The Groove,” are becoming a much-anticipated summer staple for the city. However, with questions regarding how long the governor’s “Stay-at-home” orders and other social distancing protocols would still be in place over the summer, City Administrator Lynda Woulfe asked the council to make a decision regarding continuing on with them as scheduled or canceling them for this summer.

“While it (June 4) is well after May 18 (the current expiration for ‘stay-at-home’) and our parks have a wide area to social distance, I would recommend that city council continue to move forward with the program,” Woulfe said.

As a “bonus” because of the current situation, Woulfe said city staff was looking at streaming the events on Facebook Live “in case anybody doesn’t feel comfortable coming down to the park.”

Mayor Jim Godfrey suggested contacting Facebook about the live streaming, noting that there has been times when he has attempted to do a live stream of part of a high school football game he announces at and Facebook has muted out distinguishable music being played. Woulfe told the council that shouldn’t be a problem for the city since the city has purchased ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) licensing.

“That is one of the things we experienced last year,” Woulfe said. “We just have to notify Facebook that we do have our ASCAP licensing in place.”

Included in this decision to continue on as scheduled are the summer kids programs, which feature a combination of entertainment and educational programs also located at City Park. The first of those is scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, featuring “The Toonies” puppet show.

There will also still be “Arts in the Park” beginning on Wednesday, July 29 and “Movies in the Parks” at various parks around the city beginning on Friday, July 31.

Following the meeting, Woulfe said the schedule was dependent on the performers being willing to perform in light of the pandemic, however at this time,  “the bands were very happy to still be performing.” 

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