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SIU’s Sunset Concerts begin June 22

Crowd gathers to listen to a band at concert
Provided by Christie Mathis
SIU News

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Sunset Concerts Series, a Southern Illinois summer tradition since 1978, kicks off June 22 with six weeks of free musical entertainment for all ages and interests.

This summer’s concerts begin on the steps of Shryock Auditorium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the venue alternates between the scenic campus spot and two other locations in the city of Carbondale. The outdoor performances, held each Thursday evening through July 27, are all free. Everyone is welcome to attend.

“We are excited to once again offer an exciting lineup of concerts this summer,” said Sean Cooney, assistant director of student engagement and programming. “SIU, the City of Carbondale and the Carbondale Park District are proud to continue the long-standing tradition of hosting the Sunset Concerts, featuring a variety of diverse bands providing great, family-friendly entertainment for community members.”

Fun times for all

Those attending the concerts are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets, as well as refreshments.

All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and last about two hours. The locations are:

  • The steps of Shryock Auditorium on the SIU campus.
  • Carbondale’s Turley Park, on the west side of the city.
  • The corner of Washington Street and Illinois 13 in downtown Carbondale.

Diverse lineup

The 2023 schedule includes an eclectic mix of musical genres:

June 22 – Skylar Rodgers, Shryock Auditorium steps at SIU. A blues singer and songwriter hailing from Chicago, Rogers has been compared to music icons such as Tina Turner and Etta James. She has performed at the All Star Showcase at the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas, worked alongside timeless artists, and earned Blues Blast Award and Grammy committee nomination considerations for her songs and contemporary blues album.

June 29 – Chain Station, Turley Park. This four-person string bluegrass band from Denver is known for its high-energy Americana/“newgrass” sound. The repertoire features original mountain songs, and the shows engage audiences.

July 6 – Taylor Steele and the Love Preachers, Shryock steps. The five-piece Americana band led by the powerful and soulful Taylor Steele, a 22-year-old rhythm guitarist, performs original music and hits from favorite artists. Audiences will experience a performance with roots in rock ’n’ roll, Southern blues and more.

July 13 – The Mighty Pines, Washington Street and Illinois 13. From St. Louis, this band covers a variety of musical styles from roots to folk ballads, from rock to soul. Neil Salsich, founding member and singer/guitarist, is gaining a large fan following as a contestant on the current season of NBC’s “The Voice.”

July 20 – Brandon Santini, Turley Park. Santini has toured internationally playing blues and harmonica. From North Carolina, he founded Delta Highway in 2003, and the band earned a Blues Music Award nomination. His recent release, “The Longshot,” incorporates blues and rock influences from legends such as The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

July 27 – The Ark Band, Shryock steps. The Saint Lucian reggae band performs rock reggae across the country. Currently based in Ohio, the band plays a mix of harmony-filled originals and classic/current hits while spreading a message of peace and love.

A few rules assure all enjoy the fun

The popular concerts have been drawing large crowds to the city for evenings of musical fun for decades. To assure everyone has a safe, enjoyable time, there are a few rules.

Bans on glass bottles, kegs, smoking, pets and solicitation will be enforced as will underage drinking laws. Single-serve containers only are permitted.

For additional information, visit sunset.siu.edu, call 618-453-5714 or follow the Student Center on Facebook or Twitter.

SIU and its Student Center and Student Programming Council, along with the City of Carbondale and the Carbondale Park District, are collaborating to provide the musical entertainment. Sponsors also include the Southern Illinois Credit Union, University Glass Inc. and Massie Dental.


Christi Mathis — student affairs; diversity, equity and inclusion; business and analytics; education; health and human sciences; psychological and behavioral sciences; innovation and economic development; international education.

SIU News is produced by University Communications and Marketing - 618-453-2589. Twitter: @SIUCNews
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