CHIRP is back - and ready to rock - in Ridgefield this summer

While many music festivals were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic last summer, CHIRP — Concert Happenings in Ridgefield’s Parks — offered up an abbreviated performance schedule.

Still, founder and producer Barbara Manners said she can’t wait to celebrate CHIRP’s 20th season with a more complete lineup of shows in 2021.

“(It) feels great to be able to put on a full summer of concerts for an audience that is largely unafraid to emerge from behind closed doors,” she said. “(I) can’t wait to see happy people, loving life, loving music, once more greeting old friends and making new ones over common love of music and being out in the community.”

CHIRP, a series of outdoor concerts held in Ridgefield’s Ballard Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer, gets things rolling on June 1 with a performance by Caravan of Thieves.

Manners said that she has scheduled live performances through July 8 and that CHIRP still needs to raise roughly an additional $30,000 to be able to offer their planned 27 show lineup. If CHIRP isn’t fully funded by the beginning of July, Manners said she will have to postpone some of the August shows.

While CHIRP’s lineup is still in the works, Manners said attendees can expect to see “quite a few new faces ranging from bands to trios of singer/songwriters who we haven’t had the opportunity to present before. We have always had a policy of inviting back the bands who rated most highly on our annual survey and mixing them with some bands new to CHIRP and some from past years who were enjoyed and appreciated but not necessarily favorites.”

Manners added that she “tried to book a mix of different genres: Americana, R&B, blues, bluegrass, roots, the Louisiana sound, jazz and folk” for this year’s lineup. The performers may change, but the core goals of CHIRP remain the same.

Manners said CHIRP continues to present free “quality” concerts to the community. She expects more people to attend the concerts this year despite having a core group of dedicated CHIRP fans because “people are so eager to get out and hear live music and relax.”

CHIRP lineup

June 1 - Caravan of Thieves

June 8 - Roomful of Blues

June 10 - Carsie Blanton

June 15 - Hillbenders

June 17 - Adam Ezra Group

June 22 - Eileen Ivers Band

June 24 - Jamie McLean Band

June 29 - Twisted Pine

July 1 - Johnny Nicholas Trio

July 6 - The Bumper Jacksons

July 8 - The Dust Bowl Revival

Attendees and staff will be required to wear masks when entering and moving around the park, but can remove them once seated.

“We do not expect the state to have a cap on the number of attendees this summer, but we do expect guidance as to social distancing,” she said. “We are still awaiting those suggestions from the state but do not expect to need pre-registration this summer, though we may have to turn some people away if the park gets overcrowded.”

For more information about CHIRP and the performance lineup, visit chirpct.org.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com