Associated Press
Musician Merrill Osmond

LEHI — The need for affordable, family friendly concerts in Utah County is "intense" and "massive," says Merrill Osmond.

That's why he's taking the time, energy and money to back — at least in part — a series of Wednesday night community summer concerts that will not only bring cutting-edge performers and groups to the area but cost a mere $5 admission.

"I have six children and this is partly because of conversations I've had with them," said Osmond, as he boarded a plane for an Osmond 50th Anniversary world tour. "I've always felt there was a massive need for concerts that were affordable, for all ages."

Osmond said the groups coming for the concert series will not be "the 'A-list' groups but they are good, cutting-edge groups" who will entertain and perform well.

In addition, Osmond said there will be surprise entries that may include the Osmonds. "You'd be surprised. The possibility could be very strong (that the Osmond family will appear)," he said.

Local groups and entertainers will be invited to open for the concerts as well, he said. "Absolutely, there will be opportunities for locals."

The two-hour concerts start on June 18 with Jagertown and Brandie Frampton followed by Soul Survivors and Rattle & Hum, America's leading U2 tribute band.

Other acts being scheduled are School of Rock, Nashville artist Coles Whalen and Band of Heathens.

The concerts will be staged at the Waterfall Amphitheater at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi with tickets for sale for $5 each. Children under 12 will be admitted free.

Osmond is partnering with veteran concert producer Toby Martin and marketing consultant Brooke Miller.

The following Web sites are under construction but should be accessible next week for more information: www.myspace.com/utahfamilyconcerts, utahfamilyconcerts.com.

"The cost of attending concerts today has gotten out of hand, so making these dates something special for the entire community is very exciting," said Osmond. "The acts, the audio systems and engineers and the production will all be first class."


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