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     Welcome to for Summer 2008, the site's sixth summer. For those of you who are return visitors, welcome back! Welcome, too, to those of you who are here for the first time. This page is THE place to find important reminders and news of the site! This includes information about what's new during the summer and about the month-to-month changes taking place. Please check back periodically - you can get to this page directly from the Home page and all the other major sections.

FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS: This site contains a monthly listing of free concerts and music-related events in Orange County and parts of Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. Most of the events listed are offered to the general public or residents of certain cities free of charge. Events in clubs, bookstores, cafes and other similar venues covered elsewhere generally are not included. You can start your visit to the concert listings by clicking on the "Free Concerts" link above. From there you will find directions on how to find concert information. Please take the time to look through some of the other areas of the site as well: read an essay or a poem, view the work of the summer guests or take a look at some of the "Extras" (a few other things you can find for free during the summer).
NEVER BEEN TO A PARK CONCERT? The directions are simple: Find music you think you'd like to listen to, pack a picnic, throw a beach chair or blanket in the car, sit out under the stars and enjoy your food and the music! There's nothing to it! (Please note: There are a few venues at which seating is provided, and a couple with more standing room than sitting room. If you are in doubt as to your venue's seating policy, please contact the venue directly.)

FOR EVERYONE (Latest update: Sept. 10): Please welcome the summer's third guest, the 2008 Guest Poet. He joins the site this month with five poems which can be accessed from the Guest Poet page. Also, stay tuned for more concert updates coming later this week!

•  Featured Artists - Featured Artists are musicians or concert series drawn from the summer concert performances. Two Featured Artists are named each month, one for the first half of the month and one for the second half.

•  Show of the Week - Show of the Week information runs from Monday through Sunday of each week. The listings can be found on the Concerts By Date main calendar page of the free concerts section.

•  2008 Website Special Guests - Each year special guests are invited to exhibit works which in some way interpret or express the summer theme. The 2008 theme is "METAMORPHOSES." A warm welcome to all this summer's Guests You can read more about them on the "Guests" page.

•  Summer Essay Series - This year's series is called "Petromorphosis." Part III, called "An Af-fuel-ent Future?" is now available on the "This Month's Essay" page. Click here to go directly to the Part I and II essays, now located in the Essay Archives.

•  Inland Empire concert pages - Since the site's inception, the concert listings have been divided into four categories listed both by city and by date: All Cities, Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Other Cities. Last year the "Other Cities" sections officially became the Inland Empire concert pages. Cities in this section will be added gradually over the next year or two, and any information visitors from the Inland Empire would like to forward is welcome!

•  Concert Listings - In the summer the weekly updates move from Thursday night to Sunday night to coincide with the changes in the "Show of the Week" section.

•  2008 Theme - "METAMORPHOSES"

     Since this page was first created, the picture of the protea flower and the description of the "protean," or changeable, nature of the site have appeared in the "About the Site" section. As anyone who has been with the site for a while knows, the site is very different today than it was in its 2003 debut. The animation below includes headings from the six home pages of the site which have appeared since that time.

     This year the notion of change carries through with the theme "METAMORPOHSES." The dictionary defines metamorphosis as a change of form, structure or substance, or a striking alteration in appearance, character or circumstances. The butterflies are ever-present on the pages of the 2008 site as a reminder of the many changes -- some truly transformational -- taking place in the world around us today, whether as close as our front doorsteps or as far as a continent away.

•  New for 2008 - What will you find on the site this summer? For now, you'll find my photographs scattered around the pages. One series in the "Orange County By Date" section looks at the changes taking place in Whiting Ranch and Limestone Canyon Wilderness Park since the Santiago Fire of 2007. In the "Los Angeles County by Date" page, you'll find a look at the Port of Los Angeles and how it has become the nation's largest containerport. In the Inland Empire, learn about a small piece of Southern California history intersecting in downtown Riverside. Also, for the first time this summer, there will be something new -- "audience participation," of sorts. In keeping with the "METAMORPHOSES" theme, all cities are invited to submit two photographs for the "County by City" concert pages. One photograph should be a historical photo of some type; the other a picture of the same thing, but from a more recent time period. The pictures should illustrate a change which has taken place in the city, possibly one which has transformed it in some way. A few have been posted already. Through the Fourth of July weekend pictures will be accepted only from city offices and historical societies. After that, photographs will be accepted from the broader website audience at large. Letters have been and continue to be sent to cities; details for the general public for submitting pictures are now included on the "County By City" pages. Finally, as the summer goes on I hope to be able to include a few more morphing images like the one currently on the "This Month's Essay" page.

     AN IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR 2008: The current economic situation has affected many cities and organizations in different ways when it comes to their summer programs. Some city representatives have said there is no change in their concert programs since support for the shows comes primarily from sponsors. Other cities have responded by cutting one or more dates from their summer concert schedules. Still others have said their programs are safe for this year but are uncertain as to what will happen in 2009. PLEASE support the local organizations, businesses and city offices that make the summer concert programs possible, and PLEASE let them know how much you appreciate the gift of music that they bring to your communities!

     AND FINALLY . . . Some cities/venues hand out audience opinion surveys, and the question "How did you hear about these concerts?" is often asked. If you attend a concert that you have found on this website and happen to fill out a survey form, it would be appreciated if you would let the venue know that you found the information here. Thank you for your continued support of!

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