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Britt Festivals unveils lineup of 33 concerts for 2013

 Posted: 2:00 AM April 04, 2013

Pop star Cyndi Lauper, singer/songwriter John Hiatt, the Steve Miller Band, country singer Billy Currington, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, contemporary Christian artists Amy Grant and Brandon Heath, gospel legend Mavis Staples and guitar sensation Rodrigo y Gabriela are among the artists on their way to Britt's 2013 season of concerts.

The lineup, which was announced Wednesday evening at the Britt Pavilion in Jacksonville, features 33 performances of pop, rock and country music from June 15 through Sept. 14.

The season will kick off with the annual Taste of Summer celebration in Jacksonville on Saturday, June 8. The citywide celebration will include live music, food, street performers, members of the visual arts group Art Presence, a wine walk, a beer garden, children's activities, classic car displays, hot air balloon rides and more.

June 8 — Taste of Summer: Celebrate the beginning of Britt and summer in Jacksonville, downtown Jacksonville.

June 15 — Cyndi Lauper: She's So Unusual Tour/ Hunter Valentine. $62 reserved, $39 adult lawn, $29 child (1-12), $248 premium blanket (for 4), $124 premium blanket (for 2).

June 25 — An Evening with Steve Miller Band. $92 reserved, $49 adult lawn, $35 child (1-12) lawn, $368 premium blanket (for 4), $184 premium blanket (for 2).

June 28 — John Prine / Carrie Rodriguez. $59 reserved, $39 adult lawn, $29 child (1-12) lawn, $236 premium blanket (for 4), $118 premium blanket (for 2).

June 29 — Ziggy Marley / Special Guest TBA. $46 reserved, $46 SRO, $34 adult lawn, $22 child (1-12) lawn.

June 30 — The Music of ABBA: Arrival from Sweden. $44 reserved, $29 adult lawn, $21 child (1-12) lawn, $176 premium blanket (for 4), $88 premium blanket (for 2).

July 5 — John Hiatt & The Combo / Mavis Staples. $45 reserved, $35 lawn, $26 child (1-12) lawn, $180 premium blanket (for 4), $90 premium blanket (for 2).

July 6 — Michael Franti & Spearhead Family Matinee. All seats general admission: $14.50, children 2 and under free.

July 6 — Michael Franti & Spearhead / Special Guest TBA. $49 reserved, $49 SRO, $39 lawn, $32 child (1-12) lawn.

July 7 — Rodrigo y Gabriela / Special Guest TBA. $47 reserved, $37 adult lawn, $29 child (0-12) lawn, $188 premium blanket (for 4), $94 premium blanket (for 2).

July 11 — Kenny Loggins / Blue Sky Riders. $64 reserved, $39 adult lawn, $29 child (0-12) lawn, $256 premium blanket (for 4), $128 premium blanket (for 2).

July 16 — An Evening with Pink Martini with singer Storm Large. $51 reserved, $35 adult lawn, $27 child (1-12) lawn, $204 premium blanket (for 4), $102 premium blanket (for 2).

July 17 — Scotty McCreery / Special Guest TBA. $48 reserved, $35 adult lawn, $28 child (1-12) lawn, $192 premium blanket (for 4), $96 premium blanket (for 2).

July 18 — Best of Britt Benefit / Michael Kaeshammer. All seats general admission, $75 (includes food, beer, wine and concert).

July 19 — Big Bad Voodoo Daddy / Special Guest TBA. $43 reserved, $27 adult lawn, $17 child (1-12) lawn, $172 premium blanket (for 4), $86 premium blanket (for 2).

July 21 — Amy Grant / Brandon Heath. $62 reserved, $41 adult lawn, $29 child (1-12) lawn, $248 premium blanket (for 4), $124 premium blanket (for 2).

July 25 — Billy Currington / Special Guest TBA. $69 reserved, $69 SRO, $39 adult lawn, $32 child (1-12) lawn.

Aug. 20 — Rebelution / Matisyahu / Collie Buddz. $39 reserved, $39 SRO, $33 lawn.

Aug. 21 — Brandi Carlile / Special Guest TBA. $49 reserved, $38 adult lawn, $28 child (1-12) lawn, $196 premium blanket (for 4), $98 premium blanket (for 2).

Aug. 23 — Regeneration Tour 2013: The Human League, Erasure's Andy Bell and Howard Jones. $56 reserved, $36 adult lawn, $26 child (1-12) lawn, $224 premium blanket (for 4), $112 premium blanket (for 2).

Aug. 27 — Chris Isaak / Special Guest TBA. $65 reserved, $39 adult lawn, $33 child (1-12) lawn, $260 premium blanket (for 4), $130 premium blanket (for 2).

Aug. 30 — Tegan & Sara / Special Guest TBA. $49 reserved, $49 SRO, $39 adult lawn, $28 child (1-12) lawn.

Sept. 1 — Martina McBride / Special Guest TBA. $76 reserved, $44 adult lawn, $32 child (1-12) lawn, $304 premium blanket (for 4), $152 premium blanket (for 2).

Sept. 5 — The Doobie Brothers / Special Guest TBA. $74 reserved, $43 adult lawn, $32 child (1-12) lawn, $296 premium blanket (for 4), $148 premium blanket (for 2).

Sept. 8 — Dennis Miller / Special Guest TBA. $62 reserved, $39 lawn, $248 premium blanket (for 4), $124 premium blanket (for 2).

Sept. 13 — REO Speedwagon / Special Guest TBA. $69 reserved, $39 adult lawn, $29 child (1-12) lawn, $276 premium blanket (for 4), $138 premium blanket (for 2).

Sept. 14 — Jake Shimabukuro / Jeff Pevar. $42 reserved, $29 adult lawn, $21 child (1-12) lawn, $168 premium blanket (for 4), $84 premium blanket (for 2).

Britt Executive Director Donna Briggs says the festival is particularly excited about the presence of several prominent country music artists in this year's lineup.

"It's been a few years," she says. "Martina McBride, she's up there with Reba, and there's Scotty McCreery and Billy Currington. Every year we try to book good, strong country acts, and this year it came together for us."

There's also plenty of classic rock, with Steve Miller, Kenny Loggins, REO Speedwagon, the Doobie Brothers.

Briggs says there's a good chance of other shows being added as the season goes on.

"We do have a few offers out," she says. "We hope to book a few more." It sometimes takes months of negotiations to book an act, she says.

Ticket prices have held steady. The Steve Miller Band is the most expensive show at $92 for reserved seats and $49 for the lawn. McBride and the Doobies are next at $76 and $74, respectively. Most reserved seats are in the $40 to $60 range. Most lawn seating is in the $30 to $40 range.

The new alcohol policy that went into effect last year, with some shows excluded from Britt's traditional bring-your-own beer and wine policy, will continue this year, Briggs says. The shows with a ban on bring-your-owns will be announced before April 11.

Other performers coming to the Northwest's oldest annual outdoor summer music festival are folk singer John Prine, perennial Britt favorite Michael Franti, perennial Britt favorite Kenny Loggins, rockabilly singer Chris Isaak, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro, swing favorites Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and Oregon's Pink Martini with singer Storm Large.

Also on the bill are some younger acts that will be new to Southern Oregon audiences. There's the sophisticated guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela and indie rockers Tegan and Sara, who toured with the Black Keys.

Also part of the summer season will be a Best of Britt benefit on Thursday, July 18. The evening will include music, food by local restaurants, wine from 25 wineries of the Southern Oregon Wine Association, beer and a return performance by boogie woogie/jazz pianist Michael Kaeshammer. Proceeds will benefit Britt's education programs.

Britt's Classical Festival, the element that started the thing, was announced in January. The Classical Festival will run Aug. 3-19, bringing nearly 100 musicians to Southern Oregon for three weeks to form the 2013 Britt Festival Orchestra.

This season will see a passing-the-baton event after the retirement of longtime Britt Music Director Peter Bay, who left at the end of last season after 20 years of leading the summer orchestra.

The orchestra and the Britt board will audition three finalists for the position of music director: Mei-Ann Chen, Teddy Abrams and David Danzmayr. The season also features the return of the popular symphony pops night, with all tickets just $5.

Tickets for Britt's 2013 season will go on sale beginning April 11 to Britt members and May 16 to the public. Visit www.brittfest.org, call 541-773-6077 or 800-882-7488, or visit the box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 216 W. Main St., Medford.

Bill Varble is a freelance writer living in Medford. Reach him at varble.bill@gmail.com.


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