I often think that where you see a concert is just as important as who’s performing. And this Saturday Jakob Dylan will be playing at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. The venue is primarily a 1,700 acre outdoor museum of trees, shrubs and other plants. And like other unique outdoor music venues, it sounds like it’s the kind of place where a live show can really grow on you.
Back in April I shared a snippet from a Jakob Dylan review that made me smile and I’m excited to share with you another opportunity to see Dylan play in a venue as he tours in support of his latest album Women and Country.
Chicago, and it’s surrounding suburbs, gives concert fans the chance to discover new places to hear live music all the time. So here’s one more unique venue to add to your list. And I want to thank the folks over at the Morten Arboretum for passing along the info and taking the time tells us more about their summer concert series.
As I mentioned in the intro, The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned leader in tree science and education, working to save and plant trees. The 1,700-acre outdoor museum features “magnificent collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world.” It’s located in Lisle, IL, a suburb of Chicago. And now that I know it’s also a concert venue hosting artists during it’s “In Tune With Trees” Summer Concert Series, I’ll definitely have to check it out.
I wanted to get you some more info on the history of the summer concert series so I asked Marilyn Baysek, Special Events Manager for The Morton Arboretum, a couple questions about why they created the venue and what makes it a unique setting for a live concert. More details on the Jakob Dylan concert and other artists playing this summer follows the interview.
Live Fix: What inspired the creation of a concert venue at the Morton Arboretum?
Marilyn Baysek: Back in 2001, summer was not a time that many people visited the Arboretum (compared to spring or fall). It seemed like the perfect time to employ the beauty of nature’s stage as a setting for performing arts. The lovely sloping lawn off the Thornhill building provided the original inspiration as a beautiful, unique setting. When the new Visitor Center, Arbor court, etc. opened summer of 2004, we moved the concerts over here to accommodate the growing attendance.
What makes the Morton Arboretum unique from other outdoor venues?
We are a tree museum first and foremost. Our concerts are held to support the Arboretum’s primary mission to plant and protect trees. We are not a traditional “performing arts house” even though we are presenting national, exciting acts. The majority of our audience is still made up of members who understand our mission, and appreciate that their ticket purchase goes to support a cause that they as members also support.
What have fans enjoyed the most about seeing a concert there?
The fact that there is not a “bad” seat in the house and that everyone has a direct line of sight to the stage. Also, the ambiance is sophisticated and upscale, and people love to do the whole gourmet picnic thing with silver candelabra and wine.
Friday, June 18; 7 p.m.: Blues Traveler and Dr. John & The Lower 911
Saturday, June 19; 11 a.m.: Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players (Family Concert)
Saturday, June 19; 7 p.m.: Jakob Dylan and Three Legs with special guest Augustana
Sunday, June 20; 7 p.m.: Kenny Loggins with special guest Malea McGuinness
Friday, July 23; 7 p.m.: Huey Lewis & The News
Saturday, July 24; 7 p.m.: Indigo Girls
Sunday, July 25; 3 p.m.: New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago (Family Concert)
Sunday, July 25; 7 p.m.: New Millennium Orchestra & special guest artist Matthew Santos
Friday, August 6; 7 p.m.: LYLE LOVETT and his Large Band
Saturday, August 7; 11 a.m.: Ralph’s World (Family Concert)
Saturday, August 7; 7 p.m.: Lee Ann Womack with special guest Mark Chesnutt
Sunday, August 8; 7 p.m.: Marc Cohn with special guest Bettye LaVette