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The Music Returns to World’s Fair Park! 
Five free twilight concerts. Happy families and music lovers, spread out on green grass, blankets and chairs, enjoying the summer nights and the downtown vibe.

It’s what the City envisioned when it invested $2.5 million to renovate the Performance Lawn at the south end of World’s Fair Park.

Concerts in the Park 2021

But the beautifully revamped event venue had barely reopened in mid-2019 before the pandemic hit. For a year, concerts and large public gatherings were forced to cancel to safeguard public health.

So the early to mid-July 2021 Concerts in the Park series was many things – a celebration, a triumphant post-COVID return to normalcy, a chance to savor a range of cool jazz, roots-rock and yacht rock music.

"Many people were yearning to come out and hear some live music, and the concert series was a great way to show off the new Performance Lawn," Special Events Director Kyndra Brewer said.

"We had big turnouts at every concert. More than 1,000 people came out to experience Smooth Sailor, a yacht rock cover band, on July 8. It was a wonderful concert series, and we're glad that so many families seemed to be having so much fun."

The Greg Tardy Quartet kicked off the series with jazz, followed by Joe Lasher Jr., Kaitlyn Baker and Commodore Fox, who performed contemporary country and classic rock covers. 

After Smooth Sailor, Concerts in the Park continued with the Eric Reed Trio (jazz) and Dirty Grass Soul (roots-rock).

Concerts in the Park was sponsored by the City of Knoxville, Pilot, Home Federal Bank, B97.5 and Downtown Knoxville Alliance.

Here are a few more photos from the concert series:

Concerts in the Park 2021

Concerts in the Park 2021

Concerts in the Park 2021

Concerts in the Park 2021

A ribbon was cut to reopen the Performance Lawn on July 3, 2019, and the first event that christened the new event space was the City's Independence Day celebration, Festival on the Fourth, the next day.

A small number of events have been held there - Big Kahuna WingFest, Dogwood Arts Festival 2021, a Moon Taxi concert in May 2021, a few others. But with the pandemic safety protocols in place, this month's Concerts in the Park was the first opportunity for many people to see and experience the new Randy Tyree Performance Lawn.

Remember back in the 1990s and early 2000s, when the lawn could be soupy and muddy, and a hard rain would force the cancellation of concerts and events? That's no longer the case.

The City's 2019 upgrade modernized water and electric service, improved drainage, and added new sod, pervious paver handscaping, an irrigation system, and an enlarged entry area and gates.

Look for more festivals, gatherings and concerts to be scheduled on the Performance Lawn. For a calendar of upcoming events scheduled at World's Fair Par, visit www.worldsfairpark.org/events/calendar.

Posted by evreeland On 29 July, 2021 at 9:45 PM