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2012 Flights & Sounds Summer Festival

Take a Musical Tour Around the World in these FREE Summer Concerts

FREE Admission, $10 parking | Hangar Café opens at 6 p.m. | Live music begins at 8:15 p.m.
Special thanks to our media sponsor

Music lovers of all ages can enjoy a musical tour around the world at these free summer concerts when the Orange County Great Park, in association with Irvine Barclay Theatre, presents a diverse mix of internationally acclaimed musicians, dancers and exciting new artists at the fifth annual Flights & Sounds Summer Festival, beginning Thursday, August 2, 2012 at the Great Park.

Each weekend during the five-weeks of free summer concerts offers music lovers a different stop on this expertly curated musical and cultural world tour set in unique venues at the GreatPark.  Multiple Grammy Award-winning sensation Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz bandleader Poncho Sanchez, Persian electronica phenomenon Niyaz and Grammy Award-winning bluegrass legend Del McCoury headline the summer festival.

The annual Flights & Sounds Summer Festival originated in 2008 as part of the Great Park’s commitment to delivering top-quality arts and culture programs to Orange County. Curated in association with Irvine Barclay Theatre, the Festival has evolved into a signature event in theSouthern California arts landscape.

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“More than 20,000 visitors enjoyed last year’s Flights & Sounds Summer Festival and we’re excited to build on that success,” said Beth Krom, Chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation.  “We’ve taken great care to curate a diverse and spectacular music and dance celebration that will feature five weekends of performances ranging from African rhythms to Latin music to British and Celtic folk to popular American swing.”

On View at the Festival
The Palm Court Arts Complex will be open during the festival with exciting and diverse opportunities to view exhibitions and engage with artists. Be sure to check out the following:

• Farmers to Flyers Exhibition in the Great Park Gallery
• Artist-in-Residence Andre Woodward Open Studio Hours in the Artists Studios
• Artist-in-Residence Amy Caterina Fiber Art Installation in the Palm Court Plaza
• Contemporary Artists Depict 1942 Exhibition in the Artists Studios

Note: The Gallery and Artists Studios will be open from 12 – 4 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m. every day of the Flights & Sounds Summer Festival



August 23-25

Made in America Weekend

Blues, Swing and Great Guitars

Date Artist(s)
August 23
Palm Court Arts Complex
Jim Washburn’s Guitar PicksJim Washburn’s Guitar Picks
A one-of-a-kind program curated by local critic Jim Washburn and featuring the John Jorgenson Quintet, legendary bluesman Junior Watson and more
August 24
Dance Concourse
Pete Jacobs Band
Much loved for his famous Wartime Radio Review, local bandleader Pete Jacobs now mixes big band swing with Motown and classic rock in a multi-generational dance party.
August 25
Runway Stage
The Del McCoury BandThe Del McCoury Band
Back by popular demand, the Del McCoury Band returns to the Great Park with high, lonesome vocals and a knife-sharp band that keeps the bluegrass flame alive

August 31

Summer’s End Weekend

Dance Your Way into Labor Day

Date Artist(s)
August 30
Palm Court Arts Complex
The AquabatsThe Aquabats!
The first all-crime fighting all-surfing rock supergroup in history! High-energy New Wave and SKA for Rock ‘n Roll lovers of all ages.
August 31
Dance Concourse
Lavay SmithLavay Smith and Her Red-Hot Skillet Lickers
Bay Area blues and swing, hot and sweet!


Experience the Free Summer Concerts in 3 Unique Venues

Beyond the varied and rich musical line up, the Great Park Flights & Sounds Summer Festival provides a unique setting that adds to the visitor experience. The musical performances take place in three specially-designed iconic venues at the Great Park.

  • New this year, the Palm Court Arts Complex venue will feature a place to mix and mingle under 54 illuminated Canary Island Palm Trees delivering an outdoor club-like setting unequaled in Orange County.
  • The Runway Stage venue will showcase the Festival headliners and offers concert seating and spacious lawns for those bringing their blankets and chairs.
The Runway Stage venue will showcase Festival headliners, including Poncho Sanchez, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Niyaz and Del McCoury Band. The Venue offers concert seating and spacious lawns for those bringing their blankets and chairs.
  • The Dance Concourse venue features the iconic black and white checkerboard dance floor and includes dance instruction from Atomic Ballroom at 7:45 p.m. under the glow of the Great Park Balloon.
The Dance Concourse venue features the iconic black and white checkerboard dance floor and includes dance instruction from Atomic Ballroom at 7:45 p.m. under the glow of the Great Park Balloon.
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The Hangar Café opens at 6:15 on Fridays and Saturdays. Check out this year’s menu to see what will be available:
Download the menu here: Hangar Café Menu