ELKHART — The Elkhart Jazz Festival is pulling out all the stops for its 27th year with more than two dozen artists converging for a weekend of music downtown.
Here is a survival guide for first time festivalgoers and dedicated jazz fans for this year’s event:
WHEN IS THE ELKHART JAZZ FESTIVAL?
The Elkhart Municipal Band traditionally opens the jazz festival with a free concert at the Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St. The band plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, with guest artist Mike Smith, a saxophonist from Chicago who has recorded with Nat Adderley, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole and Harry Connick Jr. among others. The festival continues Friday afternoon, June 20, with concerts at a free stage set up on Main Street and five ticketed venues until Sunday afternoon, June 22.
WHO ARE THE HEADLINERS AND WHEN DO THEY PLAY AT THE LERNER THEATRE?
HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS AND WHERE CAN THEY BE PURCHASED?
Tickets are available online at thelerner.com, by phone at 574-293-4469 and at the Lerner Theatre box office, 410 S. Main St.
Single-session passes are daily tickets that include access to all of the music venues for specified times.
- Friday or Saturday evening session pass: $55 general admission, $27.50 for students
- Saturday or Sunday afternoon session pass: $35 general admission, $17.50 for students
Standard jazz and patron passes allow entrance to all of the venues all weekend. Patron passes include preferred seating and special access to patron-only events.
- Standard jazz pass: $130 general admission, $65 for students
- Standard patron pass: $220 general admission
Premium jazz and patron passes include all of the benefits of standard passes plus tickets to see headliners Aaron Neville, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Fourplay at the Lerner Theatre.
- Premium jazz pass: $180
- Premium patron pass: $280
Individual tickets to see Aaron Neville or Preservation Hall Jazz Band without festival venue access are $30 to $60. Anyone who buys a Sunday afternoon session pass can see Fourplay at the Lerner Theatre.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ROAD CLOSURES, TROLLIES AND PARKING?
Main Street will be closed midday Thursday, June 18, from High Street to Harrison Street. Free parking is available at the Marion Street parking garage near the Elkhart Police Department and along streets near downtown.
The Interurban Trolley service will operate as usual during the Elkhart Jazz Festival, although there may be slight delays.
WHERE ARE THE MUSIC VENUES?
- Free stage at Civic Plaza on Main Street between Franklin and High streets
- Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St.
- Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St.
- 227 S. Main St.
- New Life Community Church, 210 S. Main St.
- Knights of Columbus, 112 E. Lexington Ave.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- There will be plenty of seats set up on Main Street at the Civic Plaza stage, but bring a folding chair just in case. Popular artists and evening concerts tend to attract big crowds.
- Show up to the music venues early for a good seat.
- This weekend’s weather will be hot, so keep cool and hydrated with cold water. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and loose-fitting clothes. Cool off in one of the indoor, air conditioned venues or downtown restaurants.
- Bring cash. Some food and merchandise vendors will accept credit cards, but others will not. Bring an ID to buy alcohol.
- Grab a bite to eat at the Civic Plaza, Cafe Navarre’s pop-up restaurant in front of the Lerner Theatre and other nearby restaurants.
- Charge your cell phone at home.
- Discover new artists by visiting multiple music venues throughout the weekend.
- Duck into downtown shops for special offers and sales only available during the festival.
- Download the official Elkhart Jazz Festival smartphone app and customize a festival schedule.
- Visit elkharttruth.com to learn more about this year’s festival and get live updates throughout the weekend. Keep up with the latest news on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.