Blossom, Cleveland Orchestra put together for a return to reside music this summer season


CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – The good vibes, fresh air and legendary traffic at Blossom Music Center are rites of passage for concert-goers in northeast Ohio. But the music stopped last summer due to COVID-19 – the season was canceled. Now that a vaccine and government health measures expire, sweet sounds will soon be coming from the forests of Cuyahoga Falls.

“I think my ears might get a shock.” Cleveland Orchestra violist Lisa Boyko said. “But I’ll just be happy.”

The excitement for Boyko and the rest of her colleagues in the Cleveland Orchestra to get back on stage and play for their enthusiastic fans is growing.

The orchestra will play a series of concerts in Blossom from July 3rd through August. It’s a return to normal for the musicians and the venue that has been silent since the pandemic.

“What I love about the concert experience there is looking out and seeing how much the audience is enjoying themselves in this outdoor setting,” said Boyko.

And so far, the interest of starving live music lovers has been steady.

“We’re not going to jinx it, but there are already some performances that are about to sell out,” said Ilya Gidalevich, artistic administrator of the Cleveland Orchestra. “It’s clear that people really want to get out and enjoy this kind of art.”

This is music to the ears of Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters.

“We’re happy to have them back online,” he said. “Last year was tough and now it’s great that we can get out and have fun.”

It’s also some financial relief after the city is projected to lose $ 600,000 in ticket tax revenue to Blossom in 2020. However, since further concerts were only announced this week, the community is happy to be welcomed back into the crowd of fans.

“Because sometimes people come from all over the country, they shop in our stores, restaurants and bistros,” said Walters. “So it definitely brings a lot of money into the community.”

The return of live music is becoming a reality at a time when many could take advantage of it.

“I hope these 10 weeks at Blossom will be a good transition period for everyone to enjoy that again,” said Boyko.

Regarding Blossom’s COVID logs, the Cleveland Orchestra has worked with local hospitals and health authorities to identify best practices. Those are published on their website and could be adjusted as the orchestra approaches the stage in July.