Click here to read about the summer's FEATURED ARTISTS!

Visit the site's GUESTS page.

Click here for site NEWS.

*          *          *


*          *          *

     Welcome to for Summer 2014, the site's twelfth 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 about 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 of the site. This page also contains the site's Twitter/Facebook postings so you can find news and updates all in one place. (Latest Update: September 28)

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. There are two phases to the site: Fall/Winter/Spring, and the Summer version of the site which is here now through September 30. 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. There is no fee to access the information, and more than 120 cities in the Orange County, Los Angeles County and Inland Empire areas are included in the listings. Last-minute updates can always be found on Twitter and Facebook, too, and you can scroll down a little further on this page to find that 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 SUMMER CONCERT? It's simple . . . pack a picnic dinner or buy a meal at the concert venue, bring a blanket or beach chair (or call the venue to ask about their seating policy), and sit out under the stars and listen to some great music!

FOR EVERYONE: PLEASE READ - AN IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT THE SITE: The last summer update has now been posted, and the summer site will finish up on September 30. Chances are that the site will be down for two days - October 1 and 2, while the site is being changed back to a special edition of the Fall/Winter/Spring format. Information on events for the upcoming weekend will be posted on Facebook until the site is up again, hopefully by Friday of next week (October 3). Thank you for stopping by this summer, and please come back in the Fall. If you haven't had a chance yet, please take the time to visit the "Extras" page, check out this summer's Featured Artists, or view the artworks/poetry of one of this summer's Guests. If there is a band you liked and you want to know more about them, you are able to find the links to most of the bands appearing at the concerts listed on the site on the "Links" pages. Those pages also contain a pictoral essay on the Los Angeles area's new monument to the Civil Rights Movement called "Walk a Mile In My Shoes." The first two summer essays are in the Essay Archives, and the last essay in the summer series was posted this past week. Finally, if you've enjoyed the summer and would like to help keep the site going, there are two ways you can help. You can purchase a T-shirt or other site-related items and gifts at the website's Cafe Press storefront, "dorothyswebshop", or you can donate through PayPal by clicking the link below. Donations through PayPal are not tax-deductible, but they are much appreciated. Please visit the site again in October for fall festivals, symphony concerts, university/college performances and many special events!

Your support is always appreciated!

     Also, those of you who have been with the site for the last couple of years know that Dorothy completed a book about the site which is still pending publication. Since last summer, in conjunction with the website book, all past summer sites have been recoded and reposted. Visitors can view those past summer sites, as well as a book preview, by visiting the Book Preview page.

•  Guests - Each year special guests/artists have been invited to display works which either express or interpret the summer theme. Many thanks to each of this year's five special summer guests. Read more about all of them and find links to their artworks on the "Guests" page.

•  Featured Artists - THANK YOU TO ALL THE 2014 FEATURED ARTISTS! Featured Artists are musicians or concert series drawn from the summer concert performances. The current and final Summer 2014 Featured Artists are La Sirena y Orquesta Mar de Ashe' (Salsa/Latin Jazz/Bachata/ Cumbia). Read more on the "Featured Artists" page!

•  "Concerts By Music" Page - Concerts are listed by city and date, for all cities combined and for each of the three areas covered (Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire), as well as by type of music. Trying to separate the concerts by type of music has been problematic for several reasons. First, some cities and venues do not list information on the type of music for every concert, only the band/artist name. Second, some bands list the type of music they play in widely divergent categories (such as R&B/Dance/Latin Jazz), making it difficult to place them in any one format. Finally, some cities/venues do not list groups performing, only phrases such as "live music all day long." To find information based on types of music being played at the concerts, go to Concert Listings by Type of Music. As always, any input visitors would like to provide as to how to improve the page would be appreciated.

A NOTE ON THE CONCERT SPONSORS: For several years now, many cities and organizations have tended to cut on back summer programs, including concert programs. Although many programs have stabilized somewhat, for the most part they are still in a much-reduced format as compared with the earliest years of the site. Many of the concerts and other activities taking place (movies, etc.) are able to continue only through the generous support of program sponsors. If you enjoy the programs and want them to continue, I cannot stress how important it is to support and thank all the sponsors of these programs, whether they are cities, community organizations or area businesses.


     Not long ago I came across the quote which appears at the bottom of the summer site pages: The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and change amid order. If there was going to be a summer version of the site this year, it was going to be one which reflected on some way on both art and science, with a nod to the concept of S.T.E.A.M. STEAM, or STEM to STEAM, is an initiative led by the Rhode Island School of Design to add art and design to the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) agenda (the A in STEAM stands for art). While there is no substitute for the detailed learning and analysis which are part and parcel of a scientific or technical education, a goal of the initiative is to add the creative touch to the process of innovation. But speaking of scientific and technological innovation and progress may also go hand in hand with progress and change affecting all of humanity.

     The World's Fairs were selected as one means of exploring the "art of progress" because as individual events they were snapshots in time of the state of the world. Strung together over more than a century they paint a picture of various aspects of both human and technological progress, both good and bad (as viewed by today's standards). For those unfamiliar with the World's Fairs (now called World Expos), they were massive events usually lasting about six months where the general public could come to see the newest in scientific and technical innovations, learn about and experience foreign cultures, see a bit of history on display, be entertained, sample a variety of cuisines and enjoy the newest amusement thrills. They have been attended by millions of people, even in times when transportation was much less convenient than it is today. Attendees and exhibitors through the decades included everyone from Thomas Edison to Walt Disney, and everything from cones for ice cream to television was introduced at the World's Fairs.

     The problem is that the World's Fairs were designed to be temporary events. Despite the fact that grounds for most of the events were like small cities, the structures were designed to be removed or torn down after the Fairs ended. Other than a few landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Seattle's Space Needle, little remains of the events except artifacts, photographs and some archival footage. Although they inspired everything from songs to films (in the Judy Garland movie "Meet Me in St. Louis," the family attends the St. Louis World's Fair), art to innovation, and some of today's theme parks, most of what existed of past World's Fairs is gone. It has been said that in his desire to create a "permanent" version of a World's Fair, Disney created what today is Epcot in Florida. But as the Paris-based organization for the Expos, the Bureau International des Expositions notes, the events which "constituted an inventory of all branches of human endeavor" were "events profoundly rooted in their era" at the "intersection of cultural diversity and innovation." They have continued to change and evolve with the times and are now held for six months every five years. You can follow the Fairs' progress over the years by navigating through the site; each section is themed to a specific fair in chronological order with the order of the links.

Why the Wings?

     In doing research on the World Fairs, I came across the picture included here in the digital archives and special collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Image SSC S0000548). The photograph caption said "John Donoghue at work on model for "Creative Spirit." Details indicated that the statue was intended for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, though it has not been possible to verify if the completed statue was part of the event. Still, there was something alluring about the figure - peacefully seated, eyes closed and head tilted slightly upward as if in quiet contemplation - but to me it was mostly the wings. The wings I created appear throughout the site as a symbol of the "creative spirit" that fuels artists and innovators alike, and they are wings for everyone.

     So . . . in beginning the journey on the "World's Fair Express" in Paris in 1889, it seemed fitting to start with a winged adaptation of an 1880s-era "S.T.E.A.M." engine. In something of an ironic twist to the notion of World's Fairs as one of the progenitors of modern theme parks, one can still ride on a train with a working steam engine of the era at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park! So dust off your concert chairs, find a seat at your favorite park or venue, and enjoy the summer of 2014 on the World's Fair Express!

ONE FINAL THOUGHT ON THE CONCERTS: All of the concerts in the listings are free to the general public, and there are some truly outstanding programs. However, many of the groups and organizations sponsoring these concerts incur substantial costs in bringing them to you year after year. Several concert support organizations have had to begin charging a ticket price for entry to some, if not all, of the performances. Donations which allow organizations presenting the concerts to continue their tradition of bringing quality music to the general public at no charge are always appreciated.

. . . AND ONE REQUEST FOR VISITORS: Survey forms are sometimes passed out at concerts/event venues, and the question "How did you hear about this event?" is often asked. If you are attending an event you found on this site and receive such a form, it would be much appreciated if you let them know that you found the information on Thank you!


Follow on TWITTER!
"Like" on FACEBOOK!

Home | Essays | Poetry | Free Concerts | Links | 2014 Extras |  About the Site 
Featured Artists | 2014 Website Special Guests | News © 2003 - 2014 Dorothy A. Birsic. All rights reserved. Comments? Questions? Send an e-mail to: