Downtown Alive concert series returns to Penn Street stage

'It's good for downtown. It brings people out.'

READING, Pa. - It's the first time music has come from the Penn Street stage for the Downtown Alive concert series since late May as the series returned to its original location with Prince's former band, The Revolution.

"They're good. They're good," said Wendy Schaeffer of Reading. "I grew up with Prince in the 80s."

Rain pushed the last two concerts inside the Santander Performing Arts Center, but fans said there's nothing like being outside.

"You just have more freedom to roam around, talk to everybody," said Missy Nagarian of Muhlenberg Township. "You're not stuck in a seat."

The prior venue changes didn't just put a damper on dancing for music fans but took money out of vendors' pockets.

"I'm gonna say we average about $1,000 a night on a good night," said William Light with Sammy's Steaks. "I was depressed from it because I like coming downtown. It's good for our business. It's good for downtown. It brings people out."

"The rain has definitely played a factor in it," said Mitchell Kriebel with Gourmand Artisan Street Food. "I think out of the five we were supposed to do, we did two."

Gourmand Artisan Street Food had to find other opportunities to bring in cash.

"If it does go down where it's raining, we always try to find something else for that day," Kriebel said. "It has impacted us a little bit just because we are so used to doing it."

So for now, Downtown Alive is back where it belongs, with the next show slated for September 18.

"It's great," Schaeffer said. "You get to come out here after working all day and just jam out to some great music."

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