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Tonight, the U of I’s Research Park is about to break out of the stale cubical feel and slip on something a little more exciting. Krannert Center of Performing Arts along with Fox/Atkins Development and the the Illinois Natural History Survey present the first of their three-show series of summer outdoor concerts appropriately named, OUTSIDE at the Research Park, beginning tonight, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. The public venue is located southwest of Assembly Hall on First St. in the Research Park on 1816 S. Oak St. in Champaign. Opening act is Champaign-Urbana’s very own John Hoeffleur, of The Beauty Shop, and at 7:30 p.m., hailing from Louisiana, is the demanding presence of Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys. If you’ve never heard zydeco music, here’s your chance. Don’t miss it.


The next concert in the series — same time, same place — will be another local musician matched up with an out-of-town artist — on July 25, Brandon T. Washington along with Bandoleros. Then finally, to end the series on August 8, Kayla Brown will open for South Austin Jug Band from Austin, Tex.

According to Krannert Center’s website, parking will be available in the lot south of the Caterpillar and SAIC building at 1901 S. First St. in Champaign. There is no cover charge.