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The City of Taylor and promoter 360 Event Productions are doing everything possible to save this year’s community festival, which has been postponed from late June to Labor Day Weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rock legend Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx (Friday, September 4) and up-and-coming country music star Dylan Scott (Saturday, September 5) will remain the featured artists, and the Recoil Firearms Taylor Festival Fireworks are planned to explode above Heritage Park after Dylan Scott leaves the stage, which will be approximately 10 p.m.
“The annual Taylor festival is tremendously popular in our community,” Mayor Rick Sollars said. “Presenting it as scheduled in late June was not possible, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the cooperation of our promoter, sponsors and featured musicians, we feel that a Labor Day Weekend presentation is within reason.”
Previously, Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx were going to be featured on Saturday of festival weekend, with Dylan Scott on Friday. During the switch to Labor Day Weekend, those performances flip-flopped, with DeYoung on Friday (September 4) and Scott on Saturday (September 5), which is fireworks’ night.
Tickets for each concert remain $35 VIP (prime stage-front seating, dinner provided by Whiskeys on the Water and a free drink) and $10 (advance) and $15 (at the gate) for standing-room general admission.
The Taylor Summer Festival VIP concert package has earned the reputation as the “Best Ticket Downriver” from music lovers. Whiskeys on the Water will be adding a pulled chicken to the menu (which already includes pulled pork), along with sides. The premium seating-dinner-drink package has always been a hit with Taylor Summer Festival concert-goers.
Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx is a six-piece band that features all of the iconic band’s hits, eight of which climbed into the industry’s Top 10. A 14-year-old DeYoung, along with brothers John and Chuck Panozzo, started the band back in 1962 in the basement of the DeYoung family home in Chicago. DeYoung ended up the lead singer and writer on seven of the band’s eight Top 10 hits.
This summer’s performance will include such legendary rock songs as “Lady,” “Babe,” “Come Sail Away,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Best of Times,” and “Mr. Roboto” in addition to classic rock anthems like “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Suite Madame Blue,” and “Rockin’ the Paradise.”
DeYoung’s versatile musical talents – singer, songwriter, keyboardist and record producer – led to his meteoric rise and lengthy career. His voice is one of the most recognizable in the world. In addition to his work with Styx, he’s recorded seven solo albums, including “Desert Moon,” which also achieved Top 10 status. Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx released a live CD/DVD package as a concert television special on AXS-TV in 2014, work that he took great pride in.
The band features the DeYoung with August Zadra, Jimmy Leahey, John Blasucci, Craig Carter, Dave Anthony and Suzanne DeYoung. To date this group has performed over 300 concerts worldwide.
The next day, the focus will switch to country and will feature country music sensation Dylan Scott, whose latest release, “Nothing To Do Town,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album Sales Chart. The 29-year-old Louisiana native was a 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards nominee for best new country artist and was named to the “New Faces of Country Music” lineup that same year.
The young singer is a good fit in the working class Detroit area. He is a lesson in personal accountability and work ethic. He grew up in rural Northeast Louisiana, 20 minutes from the nearest town, and learned quickly that if he wanted to make something happen, he was going to have to do it himself. He’s lived by that mantra his whole life, and now the rewards are flowing: The romantic Platinum-certified No. 1 hit, “My Girl”; Gold-certified Top 5 smash hit “Hooked”; and the Top 5 breakout album, Dylan Scott. Despite the success, he never forgets his roots.
The September 5 concert will feature Scott with special guest Adam Doleac. Local sensation Audrey Ray (Milford) will also be on stage.
Dubbed “the hero country needs” by Popdust, Doleac has staked his claim as one to watch in Nashville, thanks to his No. 1 hit single, “Famous,” on Sirius XM’s Hot 30 Countdown. That was a follow-up to “Whiskey’s Fine” reaching No. 3 on the same countdown. The Rolling Stone described his music as not only anchored by Top 40 radio, but the blue-collar grit of Bob Seger and the bluesy influence of his Mississippi hometown, Hattiesburg.
Doleac made his Grand Ole Opry debut in 2018 and has since traveled with the likes of Kane Brown, Chris Young and Carrie Underwood – pretty impressive company for a former scholarship baseball player at Southern Mississippi.
The “big night” will be capped by the Recoil Firearms Taylor Festival Fireworks Display at approximately 10 p.m. On September 5, Pardee Road between Goddard and Northline will be closed to all vehicular traffic starting at about 7 p.m., and will remain closed through the fireworks display.
As the Taylor Festival gets closer, more supporting musical acts may be added. Look for updates on www.cityoftaylor.com. Recoil Firearms is this year’s presenting sponsor of the festival. Other sponsors include Wallside Windows, Michigan CAT, West Side Distributing, General RV Center, UAW Region 1-A, Faygo, Whiskeys on the Water, Hilton Homes 2 Suites, and Diamond Resorts.
The Taylor Summer Festival is presented by the City of Taylor and 360 Event Productions.