Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra postpones concerts, replaces with drive-in performances

concerts on the square
Photo by Madison Magazine
Concerts on the Square start in June

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra has unveiled a new plan for its 2020 Concerts on the Square series, a release said.

The first four concerts will be postponed and replaced with two drive-in performances. They’re also planning for two live concerts at Breese Stevens Field if playing outdoors is safe in the late summer.

“We were optimistic in April that if we only delayed the start of Concerts on the Square to late-July that we could still hold live performances downtown,” said CEO Joe Loehnis. “But, as the pandemic continues to affect us all in ways we never could have foreseen, we’ve decided to take creative steps now that will allow us to still share music with our community.”

The first four shows (July 28-Aug.18) have been postponed to summer 2021. In partnership with the Madison Mallards, they will host two drive-in concerts and June 24 and July 22. The concerts will also be livestreamed on wcoconcerts.org and PBSWisconsin.org for free.

There will be 115 vehicles at each concert featuring rebroadcasts of the most popular Concerts on the Square performances.

Tickets for the June 24 7 p.m. concert can be found here and the 8 p.m. concert can be found here.

Each car will be $25. There will be two showings each night to allow more people to attend.

“With two showings each night, we’re trying to make the concerts as accessible as possible,” Loehnis said. “Community partnerships are so important right now, and because of PBS Wisconsin and the Mallards, we’re able to bring this idea to life. We are grateful for these partnerships.”

The final two concerts will be at Breese Stevens Field on Aug. 25 and Sept. 1 if Dane County has entered phase three of its Forward Dane plan by late August. The WCO is also considering how it could broadcast the performances to other venues like Alliant Energy Center, Warner Park or Madison parks.

“We’re still working through the logistics, and we’re realists – understanding that the situation changes almost daily,” Loehnis said. “But, we also want to be forward thinking and we’re going to keep pushing ahead unless we don’t believe a live show can be held safely.”

More details will be announced in July.

The annual ‘runout’ concert to Portage has been canceled.