By Kira Doman
The summer solstice occurs next week, but the summer spirit is already in full swing in Green Bay with it’s bustling schedule of live music and outdoor activities.
The 25th season of the Farmers’ Market on Broadway opened a few weeks ago, bringing more than 105 vendors to the streets of the Broadway District every Wednesday.
Not only is this a great opportunity to stock up on produce, cheese, meats and enjoy a drink in the sunshine, but it’s also an opportunity to listen to live music.
While there are plenty of bands and artists playing outside during the market, the bands booked within the bars and venues along the block shouldn’t be overlooked.
Gather on Broadway (139 North Broadway), has begun their third year of offering live music, complimentary of Nicolet Bank, and food and drinks prepared by Chef Jyll Everman to the public from 4-9 p.m.
Tommy Everman, co-owner of Gather and music afficianado, said he first brought up the prospect of offering live music to the public within Gather’s walls because of his history with the art and the way it pulls a community together.
“I was a former musician, so I love all types of music,” he said. “Being an ex-musician, I believe that music is critical to the social fabric of a community and that’s why Gather has to be part of that community.”
To bring more music into Gather, Everman enlisted the help of Jolene Chevalier, booking and talent agent for her company How To Concerts, who has been booking the bands and artists performing at Gather and specifically their Farmers’ Market Series since the start of the annual lineup in 2021.
“When it comes specifically to the farmers’ market, Steven (Aprill, social media and marketing), Jolene (Chevalier) and I sat down in October of last year, right after the Farmer’s Market season ended,” Everman said. “We decided we had to start then because it’s a lot of work to get to get this entire series ready for the public.”
The booking process is ongoing at all times, because a musician will sometimes ask to perform at the venue, and the timeframe that makes the most sense with both the musician’s schedule and Gather’s schedule aligns with the Farmer’s Market.
“We’re always talking to agents. Artists and agents are calling us to schedule ticketed shows, and if the time frame they initially want contradicts a wedding already booked in our schedule, we’ll ask if they’d like to perform for our Farmers’ Market Concert Series,” Everman explained. “It’s a great opportunity for the band to make money on a gig mid-week too, when approaching it through a financial perspective, that way they can schedule shows on the weekend’s sandwiching the market.”
However, Everman assures there is a method to the madness of the constant booking of artists.
“We try to start booking people in January — that way there’s still six or seven months of runway where their career is not stopping,” Everman said. “So they might have 70,000 listeners a month when we book them in January, but seven months later, they’ve got a song on the radio with over 100,000 listeners a month, they’ve been signed up for a tour and now they’re here, playing in Green Bay, with more listeners than when they initially booked. That is when we know we’re attacking it correctly.”
Chevalier’s talent and knowledge behind booking artists and coordinating a lineup can be clearly seen in the variety of musical styles booked for the Gather Farmer’s Market Series.
“Each week is going to have a different vibe and a different sound, thanks to Jolene,” Everman said. “Even the country music we’ve scheduled are all very different from each other; and we’ve got so many women in our lineup, which is so great! We are lucky to have so many powerful, powerhouse voices that are going to be going to be great shows.”
Everman doesn’t only want to display this variety of music to the public of Green Bay, but to also show the bands and artists Gather is booking the different gems of Green Bay that make it a city to be proud to reside and perform in.
“This year, in partnership with Hinterland Brewery and Discover Green Bay, we’re offering a brewery tour at Hinterland Brewery (1001 Lombardi Access Rd),” Everman said. “Which, in my opinion is a bit of a step-up from our previous Wisconsin Welcome Baskets we would leave in the greenroom for the bands. Now they can explore what Green Bay has to offer before they perform in the evening. We want Green Bay to be on the artists tour T-shirt, because Gather benefits when Green Bay benefits.”
After three-years of the Farmers’ Market Series, Everman has discovered a new appreciation for live music that previously alluded him.
“My favorite part of the concerts is reading the artists’ stage presence,” Everman said. “You saw this at Leah Marlene last year — she sucked the crowd in. She started telling stories. And when you can get into this intimate experience that is Gather, and you’re sitting there and you’re now listening to an artist telling you why you they wrote the song or what was happening at that point in their life, it creates an atmosphere that can’t be replicated. That’s probably my number one favorite thing.”
Enjoy live music and moments that can’t be replicated at Gather every Wednesday at 6:30 P.M.. through September 17. Check out the concert lineup at gatheronbroadway.com/public-events/.