Live and outside

Chris Padesky swings Denali, 3, around as the J Shogren Shanghai’d Duo performs Wednesday afternoon during the University of Wyoming Summer Concert Series at Simpson Plaza.

Laramie’s summers are best enjoyed outside, and the University of Wyoming offers one way to pull people into the sunlight on a weekly basis.

The University of Wyoming Summer Concert Series, which began Wednesday, is a series of free, weekly noon-hour concerts featuring local and regional acts. Concerts are scheduled for 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays on Simpson Plaza through July 25, except for July 4. Simpson Plaza is located just outside the Wyoming Union north of the intersection of 13th Street and Ivinson Avenue.

“The vibe is really fun,” said Hannah Ellis, marketing coordinator for the UW Campus Activities Center, which sponsors the concerts through its 7220 Entertainment program. “It’s a very summery vibe, and it just gets everyone ready for summer.”

UW Residence Life and Dining Services will have barbecue foods such as hamburgers, hotdogs, vegetarian options, sides and drinks for sale from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

“It’s a nice lunch break for people. They can come take their lunch break outside and get some food,” Ellis said.

Ellis estimated that about 150 people of all ages from around campus and across the community made their way to the plaza earlier this week, finding seats on surrounding benches, stones, grassy areas and beneath trees.

“We had a wide group,” she said.

Acts include mostly local and Wyoming groups, plus bands from Colorado and on tour.

“The Campus Activities Center brings lots of bigger names, so I think it’s fun during the summer to support local,” Ellis said.

On Wednesday, Laramie-based indie folk group The Woodpile is scheduled to perform. Members Caleb Childress, Evan Gwin, Nolan Leibee and Brendan Ruwart met through the UW Department of Music. Their debut EP, “Hunting Hearts,” features folk-influenced storytelling, energetic electric guitar and tight rhythms.

On June 20, The Lonesome Heroes, an indie rock and country band from Austin, Texas, is scheduled to perform.

The schedule continues with Whippoorwill on June 27, 10¢ Stranger on July 11, Franklin Good Boy on July 18 and The Still Tide on July 25.

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