DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — The Danville Area Visitors Bureau released a statement that the Downtown Danville, Inc. (DDI) Board of Directors has voted to hand over the leadership of the Summer Sounds Concert Series to Peter Blackmon and Portal Entertainment Group beginning this year.

With this change in leadership, the concert series will be privately funded and rebranded. The visitor’s bureau said this is an effort to promote and market a community-wide summer season of music and events.

The concert series is normally held from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend under the name “Summer in the City.”

DDI said they have chosen to spend more time and effort on grants and advocacy after strategic planning efforts and receiving feedback from a Downtown property and business owner forum.

“While I completely understand their reasons for not moving forward with the series, I also realize that Summer Sounds created something fantastic over the past 20-plus years,” said Blackmon, a member of DDI and Owner of Portal Entertainment Group and Vermilion River Beer Company. “We are compelled to keep the series going as a privately run venture but still free to the public.”

Many groups coordinate “Summer in the City,” including representatives of the First Fridays event series, the Danville Area Convention, the visitor’s bureau, the public library, the Fischer Theater, and Vermilion Advantage. With the concept of “Backyard Tourism,” they hope to encourage attendance at the concert series at Temple Plaza every Friday and everything else Danville has to offer on summer nights.

“I think we are in a position to help celebrate all the amazing things there are to do in Danville on a Friday night in the summer,” Blackmon said.

Sponsor opportunities and fundraising opportunities for area nonprofits will be available. For more information or to get involved, contact Event Director, Peter Blackmon at (217) 260-4548 or peter@portalbooking.com.