SOUTHINGTON – National acts and local bands performing at Lake Compounce this year are doing so from a floating platform in the amusement park’s lake, a feature that debuted Memorial Day.
On Saturday evening, the band Everclear will take to the floating stage at Lake Compounce. Park visitors are able to watch from the shore and, once the weather gets warmer and if the water is suitable, can swim and float while music is being performed.
Lysney Winters, the park’s spokeswoman, said the idea to create the floating stage started last year. It was built in time for a Memorial Day concert that included a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band and a country act. Artists at the park so far have included country music singer Jerrod Neimann and rock band Sugar Ray.
Winters said Everclear has a strong following.
“There’s been a lot of excitement building around Everclear. There’s a lot of nostalgia there for parents who bring their kids to the park,” she said. “They seem to be really excited for Everclear this weekend.”
Later this month Lake Compounce will host Ceelo Green as well as a Billy Joel tribute band.
“Concerts continue every Saturday all the way through Labor Day weekend,” Winters said.Floating stage
Lake Compounce straddles the Southington and Bristol town line with the lake itself in Southington.
Putting performers on the lake lets people watch from the beach and, during the summer, from the water itself.
“It’s been really cool to see the stage come together. It’s a unique concept, the stage floating out there in the lake,” Winters said.
Doug Hemphill, the park’s general manager, said the concerts are nostalgic for area residents who grew up watching shows at Lake Compounce. That the shows are on the lake make them all the better.
“It’s resonating emotionally to bring them back,” Hemphill said of the concerts.
The floating stage was ordered from a New York company. The amusement park gets questions from artists about the set-up but assures them that it’s stable and that the electricity is properly hooked up.
“There’s been a few questions about how electricity works out there,” Winters said. “We worked with a team of engineers. It’s 100 percent safe.”
There’s a walkway connecting the platform to the shore, allowing artists and technicians to get out onto the stage.
Musical acts are followed by fireworks on Saturdays, a favorite feature among park visitors according to Winters.
“People love our shows. We’re known for doing a pretty good fireworks show and display,” she said.
Season passes are on sale this year for $60, the price of a day’s admission. Performances are included in the admission price.
Hemphill hopes that Southington becomes a regular stop for national acts.
He became Lake Compounce general manager three weeks ago. He’s worked at a host of parks around the country, including Six Flags and SeaWorld, overseeing things such as food and beverage, games and retail. Hemphill also managed a chain of campgrounds.
Lake Compounce has history behind it, Hemphill said, and a host of possibilities for the future.
“I was really happy about the park and the way it looks and what’s been done over the years,” he said. The stage on the lake is the “first step” towards more growth and an even better visitor experience for Lake Compounce.