Summer concerts uncertain for 2017: ‘One option is to go dark’

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With the Riverside County Planning Commission’s approval of the conditional use permit for construction of the first phase of the Idyllwild Community Center, the future of Summer Concert Series in 2017 is uncertain. The commission’s decision on Wednesday, Dec. 7, must still be ratified by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, but its approval in January is expected.

“One option is to go dark,” said Ken Dahleen, founder and producer of the popular series. Next summer would be season 18 of the Thursday evening, eight-concert series.

Dahleen was notified by ICC that construction of the first phase of the community center would make the site unavailable in 2017 for ISCS.

“I’ll start looking for an alternate site after the first of the year,” said Dahleen. “There are a number of possibilities, but nothing offers what the [ICC] site can provide.

The most likely alternative would be the state park [where the series had been held prior to its move to the ICC site.] It would also be the most expedient since any other site would have to be approved by a variety of county agencies involving new costs, permits and additional time.”

As of this writing, ISCS 2017 is in abeyance. Although Dahleen said he has no specific agreement with ICC regarding a return to the site in 2018, the Notice of Public Hearing and Intent to Adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration announcing the Dec. 7 planning commission meeting, was quite specific regarding ISCS.

The “Request” section for the conditional use permit specified in part, “The project is to permit a community center that will be built in four phases. Phase 1 only include[s] the amphitheater for the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series, which is a sequence of eight [8] concerts on Thursday nights in June, July and August.”

Said ICC spokesperson Chris Trout, “Of course we want Ken and his series to return to our site.”

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