Tilles Center is ready to roll. The performing arts center at LIU Post in Brookville is taking the music outdoors on the Arts Plaza lawn for its Summer Concert Series.
"We want to get people into the habit of coming here in the summer," said executive director Bill Biddle. "The plan has always been to be a 12-month operation and do outside programming. This is just an extension of that."
The series will run in July and August, utilizing a specially crafted socially distanced seating plan for safety purposes. Tickets will be sold in pods of two and four. Attendees who present proof of full vaccination get a wristband and will not be required to wear a mask inside their pod. However, those who are not vaccinated must wear a mask. Regardless, everyone is expected to practice social distancing and wear a mask coming in and out of the Arts Plaza. The capacity will be under 500 in an area that holds 1,800.
"We are doing 6-foot-by-6-foot squares for a party of four and 3.5 feet by 4 feet for a party of two," said Biddle. "People can bring blankets, coolers and folding chairs; however, no umbrellas or canopies."
VIP tickets are available as well, offering padded seats upfront and access to a lounge area with a bar.
Music styles will vary. For fans of classic rock, there will be tribute acts such as Bennie and the Jets (July 9: Elton John), Gypsy (July 10: Stevie Nicks & Fleetwood Mac), PUMP (July 24: Aerosmith), Hollywood Nights (July 30: Bob Seger), Starman (July 31: David Bowie), Double Vision (Aug. 6: Foreigner), Van Halen Nation (Aug. 13), The Stranger featuring Mike Santoro (Aug. 14: Billy Joel), What A Fool Believes (Aug. 20: Doobie Brothers), Hey Nineteen (Aug. 27: Steely Dan) and In the Light of Led Zeppelin (Aug. 28). Other genres include big band (July 11: Swingtime Big Band — celebrating the music of Nelson Riddle), jazz (July 16: That Jazz Show featuring John Tendy and Friends; Aug. 8: Jazz at Lincoln Center), Broadway (July 17: Divafest: Broadway’s Leading Ladies; Aug. 21: Broadway Family Favorites), folk (July 23: Gathering Time), orchestral (July 25: Long Island Concert Orchestra — a Salute to the Movies), Motown (Aug. 15: Destination Motown featuring the Fabulous Soul Cruisers), strings (Aug. 22: Ulysses String Quartet) and family shows (July 22: Sunrise Circus; July 29: The Amazing Max; Aug. 5: Wondermark Puppets; and Aug. 19: The Story Pirates).
In case of inclement weather, the shows will be moved inside Tilles Center but still socially distanced. The indoor venue holds 2,242; therefore, under 500 is still less than 25% capacity. Refunds will be offered to those who prefer one.
"Your seats inside will be in the same approximate location as to where you were outside," said Biddle. "We have decontamination systems and everything gets wiped down with disinfectant spray. The building has updated its air filtration, increasing the amount of outside air. All our indoor seating is on brand-new antimicrobial seats."
Tickets go on sale on Thursday at 11 a.m. via tillescenter.org, with phone sales Mondays to Thursdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 516-299-3100. Pricing varies per show.