[Courtesy Photo}

Featuring local openers, community camaraderie and a nationally touring folk artist, the next iteration of Moab’s Free Concert series is sure to be a memorable event. On Friday, July 30, the Moab Free Concert Series will present guitarist Steve Poltz, preceded by Eric Jones and Tamara Freida. The event will start at Swanny City Park — 400 North 100 West — at 6 p.m.

The Moab Free Concert series is produced by Friends of the Moab Folk Festival, a local nonprofit organization. The series typically holds concerts every Friday in July, but this year, organizers decided to spread out the fun.

“What we are trying to do is not only bring nationally touring artists to our community, but also to allow people who can’t or wouldn’t purchase a ticket to our priced events,” said MFF Assistant Director Cassie Paup. “We want all families to be able to come.”

Paup and coworker Melissa Schmaedick first heard Poltz at a Folk Alliance International conference in New Orleans right before the pandemic struck.

“We were walking down the hall and found a room with people overflowing out of it. Steve was there performing, and everyone was laughing and smiling,” said Paup. “I thought he would be a great fit for one of our events.”

Poltz, a Canadian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist, is a founding member of rock band The Rugburns and has written several songs with Jewel, including the 1996 single “You Were Meant for Me” which reached number 2 in the United States. He has mainly focused on touring as a solo artist in the last five years.

Jones, a founding member of the Irish-American band Keltika, and Freida, who runs the BEACON String Program, will open for Poltz in a set lasting from 6 until 6:45 p.m. Poltz will then take the stage from 7 to 9 p.m., playing two sets with a 45-minute break in between. Food and drink will be available for sale, and all proceeds will benefit MFF and their various programs. The concert series has been largely sponsored by the Moab Area Travel Council.

People interested in volunteering should contact info@maobfolkfestival.com. There are also still available slots for paid workers to help set up and break down the event. The last event in the Free Concert Series will take place on August 27, and the headliner should be announced next week.

“We had a great turnout at the first concert, and though there were some out-of-town attendees, it was mostly just our community,” said Paup. “That makes the flavor of our events really special.”