PICTURED: Raymond Michael brings his Tribute to the “King” of Rock and Roll, Elvis, to the High Street Arts Center on Aug. 28. Photo from Facebook

by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

People are coming out and music is on its way back in — both on outdoor patios and inside local venues with indoor sound stages. Concert promoters were waiting in the wings for June 15 to make (most) COVID-19 restrictions obsolete, and once that deadline passed, they wasted no time getting summer music festivals and concert series back on the calendar.

Camarillo Community Band, July 8-29

Last week, the Camarillo Community Band began playing once again, and will continue to offer free concerts at Constitution Park (corner of Carmen Drive and Paseo Camarillo) every Thursday in July. And when they say “community,” these musicians mean it: Every week, children in the audience “conduct” the band, using an “offical” Camarillo Community Band baton. Any adult who plays a band instrument is welcome to join — although they must attend the rehearsals prior to a concert. In addition, high school students may audition to join the band (and are required to attend <em>all</em> rehearsals). To audition, call 805-530-6370 or email camarillocommunityband@gmail.com. camarillocommunityband.com 

Ventura Music Festival, July 23-25

The Ventura Music Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year under normal circumstances. This year, the celebrating is going to be epic. Singer-trombonist Aubrey Logan, Italian classical guitarist Andrea Roberto and fusion trio Time for Three (Charles Yang and Nick Kendall on violin and Ranaan Meyer on double bass — all three sing vocals as well) are on the lineup, which promises a mix of pop, jazz, classical and more. The festival will take place over a single weekend (July 23-25) rather than two, and all performances will be held in Oxnard at the Pacifica High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 805-648-3146. Take note: VMF has stated that “this is a 100%-vaccinated event. Plan to upload ‘proof.’” Assistance will be available for anyone experiencing difficulties with the process. venturamusicfestival.org 

Tequila and Taco Music Festival, July 24-25

If you love Mexican food, margaritas and music, you won’t want to miss this annual festival, held this year at the Ventura County Fairgrounds courtesy of Surfer’s Point Live (formerly Concerts in Your Car). Vanilla Ice and Ozomatli will be the headliners, but tTag Team, Adelaide and a Selena tribute band will perform as well. Also on the menu: gourmet street tacos, craft beer, local vendors and top-shelf tequila tasting. Tickets range from $20-$45, and parking is $20. Dogs are not allowed, but kids 12 and under are free, although you (obviously) have to be 21+ <em>with ID</em> to purchase the festival’s alcoholic specialties. www.surferspointlive.com 

Summer Concert Series at Constitution Park, July 24-Sept. 4

The Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District and the city of Camarillo will once again offer the much-loved Summer Concert Series every other Saturday starting in late July. Gold Rush Country kicks things off on July 24, followed by Twisted Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac tribute, Aug. 7), Smith The Band (Aug. 21) and Raymond Michael (Sept. 4). Performances are free of charge and take place 5-7 p.m. on the lawn of Constitution Park on the corner of Carmen Drive and Paseo Camarillo. Feel free to bring blankets, folding chairs and a picnic (food trucks will also be available onsite). Seating is first-come, first-served, but residents may save a spot by placing chairs on the lawn no earlier than 8 a.m. the day of the concert. www.pvrpd.org 

High Street Arts Center’s Legends Series, Aug. 13-Sept. 4

From the Beatles to The Boss to the Man in Black, Moorpark’s High Street Arts Center will host a series of tribute bands for its revived 2021 Summer Concert Series. Tickets are are on sale now for The Bruce Springsteen Experience (Aug. 13), Ticket to Ride (Beatles tribute, Aug. 14), Chicago Tribute Experience (Aug. 27), Raymond Michael (Elvis; Aug. 28), The Who’s Zeppelin Show (Sept. 3) and the Mighty Cash Cats and Silver Threads (Johnny Cash, Linda Rondstadt; Sept. 4). All shows start at 7:30 p.m.; tickets $35. State COVID-19 guidelines will be followed. highstreetartscenter.com 

The Throw Down Cornhole Tournament and Music Festival, Aug. 27-29

Surfer’s Point Live offers three days of music, merriment and bean bag throwing at what it calls the “world’s largest cornhole tournament!” On Friday, Aug. 27, Dave Rey and the Acoustic DNA Project and Mandex (a 1980s-flavored rock experience) will take the stage. Saturday, Aug. 28, it’s all about the tribute bands, which will play favorites from AC/DC, Journey and Guns N’ Roses. www.surferspointlive.com 

Ojai Music Festival, Sept. 16-19

Summer will technically be over following Labor Day Weekend, but locals know that Ventura County summers linger into September and October. Thus, it’s worth announcing now that the Ojai Music Festival (the 75th) will take place mid-September. Featured artists include Timo Andres, Rhiannon Giddens, Francesco Turrisi, Mirando Cuckson, Anna Margules, Julie Tumamait, Víkingur Ólafsson and Attacca Quartet. For the full lineup and schedule, as well as ticket information, visit www.ojaifestival.org.