First 3 blues concerts each draw crowds of 800 to Medina

Photo courtesy of Mason Seiler: The Jeremy Keyes Band of Buffalo performs at Blue Thursdays in Medina to a crowd of 800 on July 21 at State Street Park.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 July 2022 at 8:00 am

MEDINA – The first three concerts in Medina’s new “Blue Thursdays” concert series have each drawn 800 people to State Street Park, said one of the event organizers.

Chris Busch is president of the Orleans Renaissance Group, which is teaming with The Print Shop to put of the new event at the State Street Park pavilion.

He hears from people from outside Medina who are attending the concerts, and then staying in Medina after for a meal. Others are coming back on weekends to explore the community.

“There are lots of comments how lucky we are to live in such a nice little village, how great everything is, how much they’re enjoying the event and that they’re coming back each week,” Busch said.

State Street Park is handling the crowds “beautifully,” Busch said. There is plenty of space in the shade for people and vendors to spread out, with parking close by.

“No matter how you stack it up, the event is bringing 800 people to Medina every week, with half or more from out of town,” Busch said.

Busch and Ken Daluisio of The Print Shop have talked with people at the concerts from Buffalo, Tonawanda, Lockport, Batavia, Evans, Wilson and other surrounding areas.

“We do believe many have come for the first time and have continued to come back,” he said. “They are from all ages.”

The first concert on July 7 featured the Dave Viterna Group, a well-known local band from Medina. Viterna has a strong local following and a big crowd was expected for the debut event.

The crowd hasn’t let up for the second and third concerts with about 800 people for the Frank Grizanti Band on July 14 and again for the Jeremy Keyes Band this past Thursday.

“We’re consistently seeing over 800 per show and they’re coming from all over WNY,” Daluisio said. “Everyone’s having a great time. They’re loving the bands we’ve booked, the venue and the amenities.”

The Jeremy Keyes Band of Buffalo received a standing ovation on Thursday. Keyes and his bandmates said they loved the vibe and the venue, and hope to come back next year.

The series continues July 28 at 6:30 p.m. with the Growlers Blues Band, also of Buffalo. The other remaining bands include Dave Constantino Band on Aug. 4 and Maria Aurigema on Aug. 11.

Amenities at the series include food by Cusimano’s Pizzeria, Parker’s Pit BBQ and Catherine St. Bakery, with refreshments provided by Blue Groove Coffee, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery and 810 Meadworks. Gloria Brent, owner of Modern Mercantile and Main Liquor, is a sponsor for the music.