Downtown on Saturday night was abuzz with all sorts of events. It felt like every block was home to some really exciting shows, but it was one block in particular that we had our eye on.

Elton Dan and the Rocket Band / Photo by Fally Afani

There are two lots on Mass St. that sit between 11th and 10th. Those empty lots have long been a point of contention among local businesses, but on Saturday night one of them sprung to life thanks to the Granada’s new Starlite Concert Series.

The once abandoned lot transformed into a pop-up concert venue, with a full professional stage. Because it sits between two buildings, it takes a street party off the street and allows traffic to flow more freely. When we arrived, we were surprised to see that everyone had brought a lawn chair (why didn’t we think of that?!). They settled in comfortably with a drink under the stars and enjoyed a set from Lawrence favorite Elton Dan. We say this every time: We don’t really like cover bands, but we absolutely love Elton Dan because he’s such a cheeseball and he brings an extravagant wardrobe along (and a big red sparkly piano!). Fabulous! Plus, he nails every single song. We have zero beef with this guy, and we’re glad to see him stop by every few months.

Elton Dan and the Rocket Band / Photo by Fally Afani

Perhaps the most magical part of The Granada’s new Starlite concert series is that it’s free and all ages (there were A LOT of families out dancing with the kiddos). When you make events accessible to everyone and take out the barriers, it comes back to the community ten-fold.

Notice how we said the word “series.” The Granada tells us this is a new venture for them and they aim to do more. We’d suggest following them on Facebook to keep tabs on the Starlite Stage.



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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