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In US, Free Concerts and Performing Arts a Hit

Throughout America, people enjoy free concerts. The performances are held year-round, indoors and outdoors. Mohamed Elshinnawi produced this report; Kimberly Russell narrates.

TV report transcript

Outdoor concerts are typical in many American cities. Sometimes, the concerts are held at lunchtime, so people can enjoy their meal accompanied by music. Usually, the concerts are organized by local governments which select the artists, show times, and advertise the event.

Bobby Fagel and his band perform in nightclubs and at outdoor concerts in the Washington, D.C. area. Five of the members have a regular job playing with the U.S. Army-Navy Band in Washington, D.C. Steve Tickor is one of them.


"I get paid pretty well from the Army, but this is the kind of music I like to play. The band is fun, and I love to play with guys like this."

The band's performances attract local residents, tourists visiting the area, and families--who all seem to enjoy the free entertainment.

The Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington has world-class concert halls, but it is also a place where people can attend free concerts and plays. The Kennedy Center started the free performances five years ago to make performing arts, dance and plays more accessible to the public.


"When we go to Broadway in New York, tickets are easily $80 to $100 dollars for a seat. And they were only free here."

The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage transmits its performances on the Internet. This group, the Navy Sea Chanters are singing about the sea, the Navy and national pride.

Over at the U.S. Capitol, the steps are sometimes transformed into a concert stage. The U.S. Marine band is playing this particular evening, and the conductor briefly explains the music. The goal of these evening performances is to lift the spirits of those attending and nourish their hunger for music.