L.L. Bean plans to scale back its summer concert series this year and beef up other family- and community-oriented activities at Discovery Park, the open-air green space at the retailer’s campus in Freeport.

Bean still will present concerts at Discovery Park, but the number will be reduced from a dozen to six, said spokeswoman Carolyn Beem.

In place of the concerts, L.L. Bean will present a series of events focused on a Summer in the Park theme, including a weekly Freeport Community Market with local food and handmade items, a green expo featuring eco-friendly exhibitions and demonstrations, a two-day Fourth of July celebration, a food festival, a three-day Shakespeare festival, a festival for kids and a celebration geared toward dogs.

“We readily acknowledge that the summer concert series has been successful and developed a huge following, as evidenced by the huge number of people who show up every week,” Beem said. “Summer in the Park opens that success up to a whole lot of other people, particularly folks who might not be inclined to come to the concerts but have interest in the community.”

The free concerts may be a victim of their own success. They have drawn several thousand people each Saturday night from June through Labor Day. That has created logistical problems, with masses of people arriving at once.

Many music fans have gotten into the habit of setting up lawn chairs in the park several days before a concert.

With the focus now on day-long or weekend-long events, the crowds will be spread out over longer periods of time. Also, the family- and community-oriented events better fit what L.L. Bean hopes to accomplish with physical improvements to Discovery Park and the Freeport campus as a whole, Beem said.

The concert schedule may be announced as early as next week. In the meantime, L.L. Bean is moving forward with its goal of making Discovery Park a destination for residents and visitors, Beem said.

 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]