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Buchanan Common Concert Series to return June 1

BUCHANAN — The Common Concert Series in Buchanan is returning soon. Each summer, the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation and the City of Buchanan bring free live music to the downtown Common bandshell along McCoy Creek.

Beginning June 1, the amphitheater will be the home to a variety of genres and acts both local and national, drawing listeners from near and far to the Common on Thursdays and Saturdays through the month of August.

“Music lifts people up in a lot of ways,” said Michael Rowland, President and Chief Executive Officer of the MGCF.

The music series started humbly as a grassroots effort by local volunteers. The venue was originally built by Electro-Voice and was gifted to the city when they moved operations out of Buchanan. Volunteers, such as Randy and Jessica Hendrixson, have been vital to maintaining and expanding the venue, its soundsystem, bandshell, and surrounding green space.

“This thing exists because of volunteers in the community,” said Rowland. “It’s for the community, by the community.”

The music program has also evolved over the years. TJ Kanczuzewsi and Adam Parin brought the idea to bring in bigger name acts in addition to local musicians. The opportunity to see national acts for free in the open-air venue has brought thousands of people to downtown Buchanan, including from across the country. The event has been such a success that an official committee was finally formed to maintain the series.

“It was a natural maturation over time,” said Rowland, indicating the need for more resources, including an endowment. “Our goal is to continue building on what makes the Common special in Buchanan.”

One of the goals is to continue equitable access to music for everyone. The city, the foundation, and numerous sponsors offer donations to keep the events free and high quality. Another focus of the series organizers is a diversity of music. They balance not only acts from near and far, but also from a variety of musical types. The series this year boasts over ten different genres of music, including motown, rock, punk, and Americana.

Concessions offered at each event will be hosted by a variety of non-profit organizations, who are able to take part in the event, provide food and refreshments, and raise money for each of their causes. The historic Buchanan downtown is full of businesses offering food, shopping, and other experiences for visitors.

“There’s something for everyone,” said Rowland.

You can find the full line-up and keep up on what each Buchanan business is offering during the events by following Those wishing to join in the efforts or give to the endowment can visit for more information.

Justin Flagel is the founder of Red Chuck Productions, where he writes, tells stories, and creates new media. Follow his work at Feedback can be directed to


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