Simplified: Levitt at the Falls surpassed its 2019 concert attendance this summer after a year without mainstage shows due to the pandemic. And nonprofit leaders are already looking ahead to a 50-concert season in 2022.

Why it matters

  • Levitt at the Falls is part of a nationwide network of similar outdoor music venues aimed at strengthening communities through free, live music.
  • The Sioux Falls Levitt venue opened in 2019 near Falls Park with an inaugural season of 28 shows, bringing in about 58,000 concertgoers, according to Executive Director Nancy Halverson.
  • The 2021 season (so far) has had nearly 61,000 in-person attendees over 37 concerts with another 50,000 watching online, a new service offered this year. Final shows run Sept. 10 and 11.
  • The initial plan was to expand to 50 free concerts in the summer of 2020, but the entire season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organization pivoted to some smaller neighborhood events and online programming.
"We created all of this online content," Halverson said. "We did pop-up Levitt in Your Neighborhood, where we employed local artists ... For us, we did OK because our donors understood we were continuing to live our mission."

What happens next?

The final concerts of the season happen this weekend with shows Friday and Saturday.

Moving forward, the nonprofit is also partnering with South Dakota Public Broadcasting for a "Levitt in your living room" TV program, Halverson said. Specific details on that have yet to be determined.

Work to plan the 2022 concert series is also already underway, she added, but it's still a "wait and see" scenario as coronavirus cases again surge.