Overton Park Shell Announces Summer and Fall Lineups for Orion Free Music Series

Series boasts local fan favorites and regional acts

May 28 will mark the return of the Orion Free Music Concert Series at the Overton Park Shell with the opening night featuring the Sunset Symphony in partnership with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

Music at the Overton Park Shell is sponsored by Orion Federal Credit Union and will feature many highly regarded local and regional artists and will run from late May to late October.

“Free concerts at the Shell are back and we can’t wait to see our friends back on the lawn,” said Overton Park Shell Executive Director Natalie Wilson.

Additionally, the Overton Park Shell has established a new partnership with Deaf Connect of the Mid-South where many of the concerts will include Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) on the stage providing an inclusive concert experience.

The Orion Free Concert Series

5/19-21 – DreamFest Weekend 12

5/28 – Sunset Symphony (ft the MSO Big Band)

6/1 – The Collection

6/3 – Magic!

6/8 – Tré Burt

6/9 – Anand Wilder

6/10 – Battle of Santiago

6/15 – The Heavy Heavy

6/16 – Star & Micey | Dead Soldiers

6/17 – Rumble ft Chief Joseph Bourdreaux Jr.

6/22 – AvevA

6/23 – Jimmi Kinard presents Muzaic”

6/24 – Stax Music Academy

6/29 – Jenny & The Mexicats

6/30 – Buffalo Nichols

7/1 – Unapologetic Night

9/1 – Los Rakas w/ Special Guests

9/2 – Memphis PowerPop Presents

9/8 – Thee Sinseers

9/9 – Black Joe Lewis

9/15 – Pezz

9/16 – Al Kapone

9/22 – Jeremie Albino

9/23 – Memphis Country Blues Festival

9/29 – Spree Wilson

9/30 – Telmary

10/6 – Morgan James

10/15 – Shakespeare at The Shell

About Overton Park Shell

The Overton Park Shell was built in 1936 by the City of Memphis and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Shell was designed by architect Max Furbringer and built for $11,935. Furbringer modeled it after similar bandshells in Chicago, New York, and St. Louis. The Overton Park Shell is one of a handful of the original 27 bandshells built by the WPA that is still standing.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the Shell was the site of the memorable Memphis Open Air Theater (MOAT) orchestra performances, light opera and musicals. In 1947 the Memphis Federation of Musicians launched its Music under the Stars series, free to the public. On July 30, 1954 Elvis Presley took the stage before headliner Slim Whitman. Elvis stole the show in what music historians call the first-ever rock and roll show. And it happened at the Shell in Overton Park.

Over the years, there have been numerous efforts, some to revitalize the Shell, and some to destroy it. In 2005, the Shell partnered with the City of Memphis and the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation to renovate the Shell and present 50 free concerts every year. It was renamed Levitt Shell at Overton Park and renovation was begun in 2007. It opened again with free music for all on September 4, 2008.

In 2022 The Overton Park Shell honored its historic past and returned to its roots and its original name with a focus on local support and self-sustainment while keeping true to the mission of building community by providing easily accessible entertainment to all.

For more information, please visit overtonparkshell.org.

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