The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) plans to reschedule its Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops event to Saturday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m., back at its longtime home at Davenport’s LeClaire Park.

Quad City Symphony Riverfront Pops Back at LeClaire Park Sept. 12

Photo by Nicholas Propes

It previously was scheduled for Arsenal Island (for the second time) on Aug. 15. The postponed show will still celebrate the music of Fleetwood Mac, and will close with the traditional rousing renditions of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” set to a brilliant fireworks display.

“I am so proud of the work that our team is doing in collaboration with so many to make this event happen and make it as safe as we possible,” QCSO executive director Brian Baxter said in a Tuesday release. “In this extremely challenging environment, we hope that this year’s Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops will serve as an opportunity for our community to demonstrate how we can safely enjoy live music in the era of Covid-19.”

Quad City Symphony Riverfront Pops Back at LeClaire Park Sept. 12

Brian Baxter

The QCSO is committed to the health and safety of all event attendees, musicians, staff, volunteers, and the entire community. Amidst the global pandemic, the Scott County Health Department has confirmed that the following changes planned for the concert are consistent with guidance and best practices for outdoor events:

  • Ticket buyers will purchase a reserved plot of space in LeClaire Park as they would a seat at a concert venue. These plots are sized for groups of 10, 6, or 2 people, and are available in three price zones (from $42 to $282). Gates will open at 5 p.m. and attendees will not be admitted to the park until everyone in their group has arrived. There is no re-entry if guests choose to leave the park. A limited number of distanced seat pairs will be available in the permanent seats near the bandshell at $35 each.
  • Use of the plot map will significantly limit the total audience size. Groups should arrive together and not mingle with other groups attending. The ground will be marked to keep groups socially distanced for entry. Guests will exit as a group, and departure will be controlled to disperse group movement across the park and maintain social distancing.
  • Facial masks or coverings will be required for entry, exit, and to move about the common areas. Facial masks or coverings are strongly recommended but not required when attendees are in their seating plots. Disposable masks will be available for those who arrive without one.
  • Physical tickets will not be sold on site, and must be purchased in advance. Program booklets will only be available in a digital format, but will be available online if attendees wish to print their own copies. Guests may also request a print-out of the program be mailed to them for a $4 fee up to 14 days before the event
  • Guests are encouraged to bring their own food and beverages. There will be no on-site vendors. Those who choose to enjoy alcoholic beverages must drink responsibly.
  • Additional porta-potty locations including handwashing stations and hand sanitizer available. A map of the park with additional details will be released later in July.
  • Anyone who is experiencing symptoms or who has been in contact with someone experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath within 14 days of the event is expected to stay home.
Quad City Symphony Riverfront Pops Back at LeClaire Park Sept. 12

Photo by Nicholas Propes

The orchestra will be smaller with distanced seating, and facial masks will be required in certain areas for production staff and volunteers. Paraguayan conductor Ernesto Estigarribia – QCSO assistant conductor and Youth Ensembles Music Director – will lead this Riverfront Pops.

The Youth Orchestra opener has also been canceled this year. Given the recent surge in cases, the SCHD and QCSO are working closely to carefully monitor the local situation. These plans will be subject to revision based on conditions as the date approaches.

Tickets will go on sale early August and will be available online at QCSO.org, 563-322-7276. The box office is open for walk-in service only on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In August 2019, due to the extensive flood damage sustained by LeClaire Park and subsequent recovery efforts, the Arsenal agreed to host Riverfront Pops near Quarters One. Seven thousand people attended on the island last year (for the music of Queen), and in 2017, the Pops 50th anniversary tribute to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” attracted 10,000 fans to LeClaire Park.

Quad City Symphony Riverfront Pops Back at LeClaire Park Sept. 12

Photo by Nicholas Propes

QCSO Caitlin Bishop declined Tuesday to cite a specific maximum crowd size to be allowed at the park this year, but noted that of about 600 of the permanent bandshell seats, roughly 50 maximum will be occupied.

Current 2020 Riverfront Pops ticket holders will be contacted by the QCSO Box Office directly to exchange their tickets for a seating plot or permanent bandshell seat pair. In light of these uncertain times, the QCSO has adjusted ticket policies for the upcoming season to address postponements and cancelations and to accommodate ticket holders who feel they are not able to safely attend concerts.

Read more about these changes at qcso.org/our-commitment-to-you.

Quad City Symphony Riverfront Pops Back at LeClaire Park Sept. 12

Photo by Nicholas Propes

Due to the global pandemic, the QCSO’s annual Signature Soirée fundraising event is moving online, on Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

QCSO music director and conductor Mark Russell Smith will host the live-streamed event, and attendees can enjoy a chamber music performance featuring QCSO concertmaster Naha Greenholtz and QCSO principal cellist Hannah Holman and participate in a live auction in

Quad City Symphony Riverfront Pops Back at LeClaire Park Sept. 12

Photo by Nicholas Propes

support of the QCSO’s music education programs.

By purchasing tickets or joining the Virtual Soirée Host Committee, ticket holders will receive a three–course dinner, QCSO chocolates, and a flower arrangement – all delivered to their home. Serving on the Virtual Host Committee is similar to purchasing a table at an in–person event, and committee members have the option of hosting up to 10 friends or family members to enjoy the event together and raise funds to support the QCSO.

Individual tickets are $125 and Host Committee membership is $1,250. Members of the Host Committee have the option of paying for the full watch party or inviting guests to purchase their own tickets. The livestream event will also be available to the public at no cost and anyone can participate by donating or bidding on the live auction items.

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Quad City Symphony Riverfront Pops Back at LeClaire Park Sept. 12
Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.