SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After a two-year hiatus, Concerts In The Park—Sacramento’s longest-running music festival—is set to return to the downtown area on Friday evenings this year.

Starting May 6 and running through July 29, these free concerts that draw thousands to the area each Friday night are a tradition in Sacramento and showcase local and national talent, but they’re being held as usual at Cesar Chavez Park at 9th and J streets—just a block away from the scene of the city’s deadliest mass shooting that happened on April 3.

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“As our community continues to heal through reconnection and shared experiences, we are pleased to bring live music back to Downtown Sacramento and announce an absolutely incredible musical line-up of local and national artists that will entertain and fill the city with positive vibes for 12 Friday nights,” said Michael Ault, Executive Director of Downtown Sacramento Partnership. “Concerts in the Park goes a long way to helping our downtown business owners, restaurants and bars more fully recover while returning a sense of renewed positivity and vitality to our central city.”

With up to 8,000 people attending shows, local bars and restaurants say the return of concerts will be a big boost to their business.

“We get a lot of foot traffic on these streets here. They come and enjoy a little drink, a little appetizer and go to the show,” one local business owner said.

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But the location of the concerts is a concern for some people.

“Sometimes it’s a little nerve-wracking to be out just because you don’t know what’s going to happen, but overall it seems safe,” one person said.

So what security measures are in place to keep concertgoers safe?

“You’re checked when you come in, plus we got not only police officers that we work with, we’ve also got private security. Your safety at the event is absolutely assured,” said Michael Ault, the executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.

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With the comeback of these events, the year 2022 will see nearly 65 national bands and DJs, including renowned performers like Bob Moses (electronic duo), The Expendables (American reggae-rock band), Nappy Roots (American alternative Southern rap quartet), Mod Sun (singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and rapper), and Cannons (indie-pop trio) along with popular DJs including DJ Noctural, DJ Epik, and DJNUNU, just to name a few.

Elizabeth Klinge