CASPER, Wyo. – The unmistakable sound of live music started reverberating on a hot, sunny Tuesday afternoon in one of Casper’s big tree neighborhoods.
At around 4 p.m. the lawn in front of a 20s-era bungalow was covered with a smattering of people in lawn chairs. In a couple of hours the lawn, backyard and street would be buzzing with neighbors, pets and kids as local folk bands played in the driveway.
Attendees bring food for the potluck, and sip wine or beer as the music plays.
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These pop-up concerts were first started by Gary and Sue Berchenbriter, who amassed a contact list of locals and sent out emails when the next event was organized.
Amy Gieske, one part of the Cory McDaniel Duo, says she first suggested the idea to the Berchenbriters in order to attract Jeff Finlin, a popular Colorado singer and songwriter. Amy keeps the concerts going today.
“We have some that come back every year, like Jeff Finlin, and Cory and I usually play, and then we have a rotating group,” says Gieske. Acts that are touring through the area have heard of the concerts and will often reach out.
Volunteers donate the house, and concerts have popped up in almost every Casper neighborhood over the years. The location and times are sent out to people on the email list.
“When it was started there weren’t very many live music venues in Casper,” said Gieske. “The intent was to just have live music, and then people just loved the idea of a potluck, visiting with friends and listening to music outside.”
“It grew, and even though now there are a lot of venues, our attendence is as good as it ever was and still growing.”
“People just love the idea,” said Gieske, “or the food.”
Tuesday’s concert was the fourth this year, with two more to follow next month.
People interested on getting on the house concert email list or volunteering a house can email Amy Gieske at firstname.lastname@example.org.