Donavon Frankenreiter Brings The Sound of the Beach to OC Parks Summer Concert Series

Donovan Frankenreiter (Credit: Scott Keneally)

Donavon Frankenreiter finds importance in giving back to the places he’s called home.

Last month, the Mission Viejo-bred solo singer/songwriter helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in a benefit concert for the island of Kauai, where he’s lived for the past 11 years. Headlined by popular acoustic surf rock musician Jack Johnson, the show raised funds for residents who were affected when the Hawaiian island flooded in April.

“It just escalated into something really beautiful,” Frankenreiter says of the benefit concert. “It’s really fun getting together and doing something like that for such an amazing cause.”

Now, the musician will return home to Orange County to once again kick off the annual OC Parks Summer Concert Series on June 21 at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton.

Frankenreiter, whose smooth vocals and guitar-playing have been compared to Johnson, considers it a treat to play at home and in such a unique setting.

The musician has played the concert series for several summers. This time around, he expects to play old favorites and might also debut new tunes that he plans to record next month.

Each of the summer series’ concerts offered free of charge in various Orange County parks on Thursdays through August 23 takes place from 5 to 8 p.m., during the “sunset hour,” as Frankenreiter describes it.

“It’s really special,” says the surf rocker, who is playing the series as part of an upcoming tour that spans the West Coast, Japan, East Coast, Europe and Australia. “Usually, we only get to play outside when we’re doing festivals. To come through my hometown area and be able to play outside is incredible. Ninety percent of the time we’re inside at one of the venues, so this is a special show.”

Further, Frankenreiter says he believes Orange County is an ideal area for outdoor shows, with its ties to surf culture and nature.

Since the OC Parks Summer Concert Series’ inception five years ago, popular and local musicians like Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness; Robert Jon and the Wreck; and Common Sense have graced stages situated within parks across the county.

“We are thrilled to bring so much entertainment to the community this summer,” remarks Andrew Do, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, in a news release. “These events offer family-friendly activities and an opportunity to get outside and enjoy our parks across the county.”

This summer’s full concert series lineup includes:

June 21: Donavon Frankenreiter at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton

June 28: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at Craig Regional Park

July 5: Stone Soul at Mason Regional Park in Irvine

July 12: Flashback Heart Attack @ Mason Regional Park

July 19: The English Beat @ Irvine Regional Park in Orange

July 26: Hollywood U2 + Topcat at Irvine Regional Park

August 2: Sweet & Tender Hooligans at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley

August 9: The Fenians at Mile Square Regional Park  

August 16: The White Buffalo + Matt Costa  at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point

August 23: Tijuana Dogs + Family Style at Salt Creek Beach

When Frankenreiter first got asked to play the series a few years ago, he immediately thought of it as a great concept.

“Why not take all these beautiful parks and have a moment where all these different bands play on every week during the summer and give people a chance to enjoy the park in a different way than they might have throughout the whole year?” he says.

Donavon Frankenreiter plays Craig Regional Park, 3300 State College Boulevard in Fullerton, on June 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

By day, Brittany covers hard-hitting city news in San Diego. By night, she’s prowling the Orange County music scene, and is usually a regular attendee of local ska and punk shows. Reporting and music have always been Brittany’s passions. She wrote for her middle school and high school newspapers and studied journalism at Cal State Long Beach, where she graduated in 2012. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her French Bulldog, watching probably too many Disney movies for someone her age and napping.

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